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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Well, seeing as none of you came forward with info on Heavy Manners, I guess I won't even ask about The Judgment of Paris, by Kevin Dunn and the Regiment of Women. That's ok, as there's a bare but informative page out there, and a bit more info at Trouser Press. The gist: Dunn was in The Fans, an Athens, GA power-pop band of modest note (though I've never heard of them), and remained linked to the scene around DB Records (Pylon, Love Tractor, Swimming Pool Q's). The 1981 LP at hand, which I overpaid for last year in New Orleans and haven't listened to in full until just now, is undeservedly obscure -- "Saturn" and "Private Sector" in particular come off as the missing link between Low and The Big Shot Chronicles. And the backing band is, indeed, a regiment of (three) women.

I'm beginning to think there would be some point to some mp3 blogging in the near future, what with the relatively deep crate-digging I've been doing lately (one-sided Steve Forbert seven-inch, anyone?), but perhaps if I lie down the urge will pass.

~~~

At one poem apiece by 29 poets (11 in attendance, the others read mostly by Douglas, Paul, Martha, and Marty Nakell, whose own work struck me more strongly than it has before), plus introductions, the reading for Green Integer's So. Cal. anthology was on the long side, but edifying -- Paul talking a bit about Robert Crosson (I've been amiss in not tracking down The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train, and Douglas explaining (1) why he'd resisted editing a regional anthology for so long, and (2) Leland Hickman's key role in the community through the '80s were highlights. (N.B., it's not an L.A. anthology -- several San Diegans are represented, though Fanny Howe is conspicuously absent. I'm guessing there's some story here, as Sun & Moon did much of her fiction.) Couldn't help noticing that I'm the second-youngest person in the book (and the only one without a photo!), w/ only Standard Schaefer and Catherine Daly representing for the under 40s -- but against that, it's striking that several poets seem to have come to publishing (though I'd bet not to writing) late. Therese Blanchard, Brenda Maloutas, and Deborah Meadows (all between 45 and 60) have had their first books out in just the last couple of years (and in Deborah's case, her 2nd and 3rd); and even Martha Ronk, I was surprised to realize, was almost 50 at the time of her first collection (Desire In L.A., 1990), though there have been four more since. In Behrlian terms, this is not a "Future Stars" scene -- all to the good, if you ask me. Even more than w/r/t the tighter but somewhat similarly-intentioned Place As Purpose anthology, it's dangerous to say what, beyond accident, links the work -- there are so many people who simply found themselves (as in 'landed') here, recently or not, and the difficulty of maintaining contact is itself, to a degree, one of the main characteristics of what is nevertheless some sort of community.

~~~

Ok, that was so stilted that I don't have the energy to report on last night -- for now, let's just say that I've never gotten home so late from a puppet show. Tonight: B/c I made incorrect assumptions about the Cinematheque schedule, I'm stuck with the 9 p.m. screening of Los Angeles Plays Itself, after blowing two earlier attempts to see it. But you won't hear about any of that until after I've paid tribute to my dear sainted mother and grandmother.

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