A CELEBRATION OF RAYMOND ROUSSEL: THE ALLEY OF FIREFLIES AND OTHER STORIES
Our second public event took place on Thursday, April 25th at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, a celebration of Raymond Roussel: The Alley of Fireflies and Other Stories, translated by Mark Ford and published by The Song Cave, featuring a discussion and readings by Mark Polizzotti and Trevor Winkfield, with a cameo reading by Charles North, moderated by Jeffrey Lependorf. Mark Ford, who could not attend the event in person, provided this introduction, which was read by Trevor Winkfield.
FLOW CHART CABARET CINEMA: A NIGHT OF NEO-BENSHI
The Flow Chart Foundation initiated it’s public programs by partnering with Hudson Hall to present its first public event—Flow Chart Cabaret Cinema: A Night of Neo-Benshi—offered as a love letter to John Ashbery and featuring an Ashberian evening of poets theater that commingled poetry, theatre and film. It took place on Friday, April 5th, 2019 AT Hudson Hall in Hudson, NY. The evening featured neo-benshi performances by Anselm Berrigan, Shanekia McIntosh, Joan Retallack, and Jeffrey Lependorf, as well as a special tribute to Carolee Schneemann, who had been scheduled to perform but passed away just a few weeks prior to the event. Following the stills below, can be found a video of the event.
I would say this landscape
Too is a document. But
What is landscape? A procession
Across the soul that thinks
It’s entering something?
Then the cold, dank withdrawal.
It’s something that can never be read again
Or even once. What its rolled-up
Soul conceals is very important.
Meanwhile you know
You have to go on not
Understanding, not even trying to listen.
That way, something gets pile up,
Can feed all memories and there’s still
As much as there was before—can wax
Enthusiastic in the shadows
Of some rooms—maybe they aren’t
All that shadowed though. In short,
It keeps addressing itself
To a particular problem as old
As the hills. It has no
Stake in the outcome, in anything,
And the problem isn’t yours,
Though you’ll be affected by it.
Sometimes it’s nice just to lie
Around talking, the demands of sex
And other things pushed
Aside. My heart is so crazy
I like it all—landscape
As it might be represented by a table
Or a chair. It beats living. Suddenly
We know it died at Inspiration Point;
The whole cost, the ladders
Of history to a well in your eyes. It’s true we
Maybe won’t pass this way again, but the
Light is all bottled inside you.
— from Ashbery: Collected Poems 1956-1987 (© 1956-1987 Estate of John Ashbery. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc.)
The New Spirit (excerpt)
I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way. And next the thought came to me that to leave all out, would be another, and truer, way.
The flowers were.
These are examples of leaving out. But, forget as we will, something soon comes to stand in their place. Not the truth, perhaps, but—yourself. It is you who made this, therefore you are true. But the truth has passed on
to divide all.
Have I awakened? Or is this sleep again? Another form of sleep? There is no profile in the massed days ahead. They are impersonal as mountains whose tops are hidden in cloud. The middle of the journey, before the sands are reversed: a place of ideal quiet.
You are my calm world. This is my happiness. To stand, to go forward into it. The cost is enormous. Too much for one life.
— from Three Poems (© 1972 Estate of John Ashbery. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc.)