Saturday, July 16, 2005

ArtBeat, Somerville and Poetry

I've been neglecting this blog of late... busy with work, often hitting three sites a day. There's usually a couple of guys on a painting job and I'm out hanging pictures. Went through $100 worth of picture hangers one recent week.

Anyway... today ArtBeat, Somerville was held today in Davis Square. A street festival celebrating the local arts. A couple of stages presenting ALL sorts of music, Brazilian and Rock n' Roll were about all we took in. Booths up and down the streets with the local artisans flogging their wares... jewelery, clothing, painting, prints, photos, pottery... and other booths giving info from Amnesty International, The Peace Corps and that sort. A great area with kids competing on strangely modified bicycles... (pretty cool watching them go in tight circles around their own, dedicated traffic cone for one hundred laps). Food, of course... Indian, Barbeque, hot dogs and sausages, ice cream. Probably not much different than most street festivals... but this one does have a certain Somerville flair.

Meanwhile, I'd noticed on Geoff Huth's blog, that he'd be here performing some of his poetry. Not really related to the ArtBeat thing, but coinciding with the date. Occuring at the Nave Gallery in a church some decent walking distance away. I was unaware of this gallery and was glad to discover it. Also on the short list of performers was John M. Bennett, so this was a double treat.
We arrived just as they were getting done with some "round table" discussion. Soon enough the performances started led by Matt Chambers, who read poems while wearing masks of the poets... Robert Duncan, Frank O'Hara, Gertrude Stein, Ginsburg and more. Delightful concept, but he was nervous and he read a bit too fast, his voice was shot from previous performing and he had a bit of trouble with his masks. Tighten it up and it'll be great.
John M. Bennett was next. A wonderful rendition of the disassociated words and syllables that are so undecypherable on the handwritten page. Geof mentioned that he hadn't expected the inflections of voice... but for me, it sounded pretty much the way it looks.
Last was Geof Huff. He passed out booklets, so we could follow along. Starting with a poetic journey through medieval book production, followed by a stream of conscious poem about leaving Rome. On to a poem of the dreams of a fishwife as she slowly wakes up... delivered in a Celtic tone that Geoff said that he didn't notice until it came off the page. Instructions as to how to read the more graphic work. A poem illustrated by Egyptian hieroglyphics. An algebraic poem. More instructions about making parchment and ink... finishing off with a song bit that turned into a primal scream at the end.
There were less than twenty of us in the room. Sylvia and I were amoung the few not intimately related to this group. I'd hoped that we'd see Reed Altimus, as he's collaborated with both Bennett and Huth... but that didn't happen.
I'm glad we did this and it was great to meet these guys.


Blogger michael said...

Sounds like a great day out. I miss all that street theatre and concerts we used to get near us in London. Northwich is rather a cultural desert in that respect. Mind you i am putting two collages in the "Open exhibition" next week at a church in town. I expect it will be full of dreadful amateurish stuff but its free and you never know, it might lead to something or even a sale ( fat chance!).

11:55 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Ah... Michael... you would have enjoyed this.
I forgot to add... photos on Syl's blog...

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi jonathan, not many blogs allow annonymous comments so not able to add much as cant figure out how to make the 'at' symbol on this strnage keyboard here in Hamar in Norway. we are having a great time despite the awful weather. its still raining! has been for three days now¨non stop! hopefully will clear up for Oslo on tuesday where we spend three more days.
by the way, the wretched Open exhibition didnt even exist! at least i couldnt find the church it was on at! another first for the Cheshire Arts adminitsrators useless organisational skills!

3:59 AM  
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Could be one of my deranged fans, I hope.

BTW, 12 year old boys have excellent comedic sensibilities.

If your in for THE WORLD's MOST ICONOCLASTIC (Iconoclastic and a half) Comedy, check my Yahoo Group.

BTW: If hope the lill' film was enjoyable.

Stay on Groovin' Safari,

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12:00 PM  
Blogger Syl said...

To latest anonymous...he's had those for years...and your "selling" on the blog is way poor taste.
Michael, Hazel, and all the gang...hope your holiday has lots of fun stuff to enjoy.
To Jon...the material things (van & bike), I can deal with. Loosing Sue has been harder. You were magnificent with her from the very first. Thank you.
Did I mention you are pretty terrific?

10:12 PM  
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2:44 AM  

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