Poetry, Music and Victorian Gypsies TONIGHT

I’m on the bus back from Boston after a one-night-only surprise visit; I am positively glowing and at least part of it is because of the wonderful city I’m returning to! If you’ve been following me on Twitter you’ve already heard a great deal about CMJ but let me draw your attention for a moment to a very special concert taking place tonight. Gothamist and Brooklyn Based are teaming up to bring you an action-packed night at one of my favorite venues- The Bell House!

CMJbellhouse_640

If you want a less raucous Thursday, join me at Pacific Standard where Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Levine will be reading from his new collection, News of the World. I wrote a paper on Levine’s poem “The Two” when I was a romantic ¬†English Lit major. Here’s a passage:

Get back to the two, you say.

Not who ordered poached eggs, who ordered

only toast and coffee, who shared the bacon

with the other, but what became of the two

when this poem ended, whose arms held whom,

who first said “I love you” and truly meant it,

and who misunderstood the words, so longed

for, and yet still so unexpected, and began

suddenly to scream and curse until the waitress

asked them both to leave. The Packard plant closed

years before I left Detroit, the diner was burned

to the ground in ’67, two years before my oldest son

fled to Sweden to escape the American dream.

“And the lovers?” you ask. I wrote nothing about lovers.

Take a look. Clouds, trucks, traffic lights, a diner, work,

a wooden shoe, East Moline, poached eggs, the perfume

of frying bacon, the chaos of language, the spices

of spent breath after eight hours of night work.

Can you hear all I feared and never dared to write?

Why the two are more real than either you or me,

why I never returned to keep them in my life,

how little I now mean to myself or anyone else,

what any of this could mean, where you found

the patience to endure these truths and confessions?

Also tonight, there are “Victorian Gypsies” performing in our fine city; The Citizens Band is debuting their new piece, The Debt Rattle. These very original cabaret performers will give you a new understanding of the current economic and social shakeup.

The Citizens Band

The Citizens Band

The Bolt Bus’ internet connection isn’t so hot this afternoon so that’s all for now but stay tuned for a full spread of this weekend’s events, plus my review of The Jaguar Club‘s show at Cakeshop- just in time for their next show this weekend!