The reading at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage was good fun, and currently fun is the focus of my efforts. Ron Koertge, Charles Harper Webb, and Brendan Constantine are masters of imagery and story; fairy tells unravel their hair, consume porridge, and take flight with their poems. I love to be read to; it always feels good to be brought into a dream—the Brad Stage was a dream space.
Fun might seem a trivial focus for today’s current climate. I recognize that we are at the crux of change—all seems to be infused with fear. This fear wants to own us, but it cannot have all of us. It cannot. Fun inspires joy and joy is beyond economic, politics, and all other tics of our existence.
I’ve been reading Ken Knabb’s Situationist International Anthology. I love this book; it is an investigation of revolution on an abstract (even absurd) level. In the “Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization and Action” explains:
“A revolutionary action within culture must aim to enlarge life, not merely to express or explain it. It must attack misery on every front. Revolution is not limited to determining the level of industrial production, or even to determining who is to be the master of such production. It must abolish not only the exploitation of humanity but also the passions, compensations, and habits which that exploitation has engendered. We have to define new desires in relation to present possibilities. In the thick of the battle between the present society and the forces that are going to destroy it, we have to find the first elements of a more advanced construction of the environment and new conditions of behavior—both as experiences in themselves and as material for propaganda. Everything else belongs to the past, and serves it.”
“Enlarging life” and “attacking misery on every front” are efforts I would like make—are efforts I hope I am making.
Yesterday, I asked a section of students sitting in the Broad Stage to make paper airplanes of my book, Circe. When I asked them to release flight, they tossed them into the audience. Audience was no longer audience—all was in performance (at least, this is what I strive for).
I’m very (veryveryvery) grateful to Red Hen Press for all this paper flight—for letting me apart of this event. I try to show my appreciation; but gifts are always awkward. Art is awkward too. I tried to make paper eggs filled with sunsets to give to my fellow readers; they turned out weird. But the poets accepted them graciously. Grace is one of life’s greatest gifts.