Monday, October 30, 2006

Mercury retrograde, indeed!

As Sebastian noted below, Mercury is indeed retrograde, so everyone in blogland should take care travelling and communicating for the next few weeks, till it goes direct again on November the 18th. It's in the sign of Scorpio, so it's impact will be greatest for those who have Sun or Mercury in that sign, Taurus, Leo, or Aquarius.

There's a post over at NatureS that links to an archived post about astrology and the personal history that led to my interest in it. Hint: it involves Mercury. Retrograde.

Keep it in the road ...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Well, Jeff dubbed this week's show "The Mercury in Retrograde" Show. And he's right.
Starting with my screw-up on the board, which led to three minutes of dead air, to the bizarre sound effects on guest Jim Nave's mic, which made him sounds like a fish in an aquarium,
to problems in editing and a cantakerous editing machine, Jeff and I stumbled through this week's fundraising show. The upside: we got to fundraise for this great station, and Nave was a perfect guest, using his radio know-how and good humor to help us through the bumps in the road.

Monday, October 16, 2006

WordPlay Hosts Perform This Week

Action on the poetry scene gets off to a fast start this week in Asheville. Monday night at 7:30, there's the HeartStone reading at Warren Wilson College. A WWC theatre class is going to transform the Cannon Lounge into a set with, I'm told, "a riverine feel." There'll be music of harp, cello, and perhaps flute, and the WWC Chorale will sing mostly, according to Margo Flood, the event co-ordinator, Appalachian ballads having to do with"water" before the reading and between pieces.

Eight readers are scheduled to participate: Janisse Ray, John Lane, Thomas Rain Crowe, Ann Turkle, Gary Lilley, Catherine Reid, and WordPlay hosts Sebastian Matthews and yours truly, Jeff Davis.

Tuesday night the New Southerner crew, including Kathryn Stripling Byer, Thomas Rain Crowe, and John Lane, and several others, reads at Malaprops at 7:00, and at 9:00 WordPlay host Sebastian Matthews and Gary Lilley perform at the BoBo Gallery on Lexington Avenue.

Looking a little further ahead, I'll be reading at Malaprops next Thursday, the 26th, at 7:00.

(Cross-posted in slightly different form over at NatureS)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Coming Up, Rose McLarney

I met poet Rose McLarney at the studio last night and taped a reading and interview for this Sunday. There's more on Rose, and several poems - including some you'll hear on Sunday - over at NatureS. Tune in at 4:00 pm on Sunday to hear her reading them in her own voice, or download or stream the show any time next week after early Monday.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ikkyu Meets Glenis Redmond

After the show last Sunday, the first in which co-host Glenis Redmond has been able to participate, I was struck by the eerie coherence of the event that unfolded. It certainly wasn't planned; insofar as there had been a plan, it involved reading poems over music. I'd chosen some poems by the fourteenth century Japanese poet Ikkyu, an unconventional Zen monk, that I planned to read over flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal's lovely Japanese Melodies. Ikkyu's work, though, includes erotic poems. Did I mention that Ikkyu was unconventional? Here's one, in John Stevens' translation:

A Woman's Sex

It has the original mouth but remains wordless;
It is surrounded by a magnificent mound of hair.
Sentient beings can get completely lost in it
But it is also the birthplace of all the Buddhas of the ten thousand worlds.

A man's erotic poetry celebrates the feminine - the Goddess in woman - so Ikkyu's poems actually resonated, I thought, with the poems Glenis read, some of her own, some by other strong women poets. Listen to the show and see what you think.

(The poem is from Ikkyu, Wild Ways, translated by John Stevens, published by White Pine Press, Buffalo, NY, 2003.)

(Cross-posted with minor edits at Natures)