in this thing. I’ve written, yes, in my journal a lot (the off-line version) and done work on poems but haven’t been able to finish this review of Olstein’s book Radio Crackling, Radio Gone. I’m on the verge of giving up. Instead, what I might do is braindump what I have in a miniature version for my adoring public here. Adore! Adore!
In most immediate writing news, I’ve begun a long poem, by which I mean six or seven pages. If I get it done it time, in some fashion that’s melodious yet affecting without being odious, I may read it at the Poison Pen series on February 22nd. Where, yes, I’ll be reading along with two other as-yet-unnamed individuals. So, if you’re in the Houston area, and you like drinking, and listening to poetry and fiction while drinking (admittedly, probably a small minority), then come out to Poison Girl at 8:30 pm on the last Thursday in February and enjoy. I say, ENJOY!
In most distant writing news, I’m trying to set up readings for myself and my book (Arriving at the end of April or the beginning of May! Stock your shelves with canned goods and ramen noodles now! The mobs will be gregarious!) and have a few so far, entirely of my own undoing, i.e. Without much effort. I’m reading at the Poison Pen series in February, at Brazos with Michael Dumanis on April 27th (that should be a blast), at the Poets Unleashed series in the Woodlands on June 16th, and at both Austin Peay and U. of Tennessee Chattanooga in the Fall.
At some point relatively soon (a year? fifteen?) I’ll have a website that’ll keep all these things straight for me.
So, if any of you have any leads for places to do poetry readings anywhere then please let me know. I’m planning on using my prize money from the Zone 3 Press award to fund travel around the country to do some serious reading and book promotin’. Once I get off my keester (and figure out what the hell one is) I’ll be trying to set those things up myself. Readings, not keesters.
Another Review I’ll Never Do: A few months ago I bought the DVD of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: Live on Stage! If you haven’t hear Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version yadda yadda yadda, then you’re truly missing out on an experience. I love it, and it brings me to tears at several points, but I can’t promise that this will be anyone else’s reaction. I heard the double cd for the first time through my friend Bryan in high school. The beginning is classic [and you can listen to it (as well as the entire thing, I think) at www.waroftheworlds.com. Just click on the music player in the upper right part of the screen and it’ll load up for you.] in that it starts with a classical orchestra, portentous, demanding, serious, and then scoots into 70s guitar, disco-influenced, synthesizer madness. It’s awesome.
I bought the DVD largely to support the cd, just as I bought the War of the Worlds computer game that was based (!) on Jeff Wayne’s musical version. To forestall curiosity, the video game was beautiful, had a great soundtrack, but pretty much sucked otherwise. I donut recommend it. The DVD as well is hard to recommend for those not already familiar with the work. Even though I love it, it’s hard to imagine others being so seduced. Although, who would argue a lack of interest in seeing a giant head of Richard Burton and a thirty-foot Martian fighting machine on stage? And it seems to be undeniably popular–it was recently the #1 selling DVD on the UK charts. The live performance recorded on the DVD is in a gigantic theater (the Wembley Arena) and that theater is packed to the gills. Thankfully, there was no flood.
The music is well done, and it’s interesting to see how they create the special effects (some of which involve musicians sticking microphones into their mouths) and almost entrancing simply to watch the musicians perform. I do have a preference for the singers/actors on the original disc, but that’s only to be expected from my love affair with it. The singers/actors on the live tour do a great job. My main complaint with the performance is that the computer graphics, the animated-film that plays on a giant screen to illustrate the story, uses too much repetitive imagery. In a real sense, it pays more to listen to the music and imagine the events of the world rather than watching a (sometimes) half-hearted representation.
Recommendation: Check out the musical at the website and go from there. You’ll be nothing if not entertained by the strangeness of the whole affair.