Tuesday July 15, 2008
Imagine Jake getting up before daybreak. Cup of tea in hand he steps out of his house onto the boulevard.
Awesome sight, darkness, light, daybreak. He makes his way across the sand to where the waves lick the beach ~~~~schwoosch~~~~schwoosch~~~~schwoosch.
After finishing Jake's factual biography I realized I missed too much information, but his story remains interesting. In 2006 I thought that was perhaps good enough a reason to take what I had and to create a fictional account… Write a novel or at least a short story, or a novella about his endeavors to become a professional artist.
Selah Saterstrom's book The Pink Institution (can't help it, keep on wanting to say Asylum) is an eye opener. What on earth is she doing? I wondered eyeing the white space, the omitted texts. And then I got it. If our personal memory is fragmented already, the past for sure is. History is fragmented, blank spots may appear when looking back. Selah knows how to glance in the mirror sideways to catch the moments of truth that propel the story of four generations of women forward. The cover tells you the book is a novel, and novel it is, with it's combination of poetry prose, poetry and prose, and thoughtful illustrations this small book is a gem of experimental writing.
Rebecca Brown's introductions of presenters are mini-lectures within themselves. Before Anne Waldman steps into the footlight Rebecca has taken us back three quarters of a century, the times when Memphis Minnie seduced the crowds with her country-blues sounds. She prepares us for the "s-witch" in Walman's work, for words treated as sacred creatures, for taking it all in "Without Stitching Closed the Eye of the Falcon" (audio).
Anne Waldman is an activist powerhouse, with a performance that must inspire the lot of us to stand up and deliver.