Friday, February 22, 2008

NatureS on the air, now, actually

Well, last week’s show with Lori Hovitz was permanently lost in the aether, but the show from the week before, in which I give my first reading of NatureS, to the delight, amusement, and/or consternation and utter bafflement of an audience at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, back in April, 2006, is now actually up, ready to be streamed or podcast from the WPVM Archive page. Enjoy.

This week (2:00 Sunday) we’re hosting the very literate singer/songwriter Angela Faye Martin, who’s said she’s bringing her guitar.

(We do like to mix things up.)


Cross-posted at NatureS.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wordplay, Mercury retrograde edition, part 2

Today's show with Lori Horvitz was really fun, had a great spontaneous flow, and Lori read some material from her memoir-in-progress that included really well-observed scenes and stories of some wonderful encounters - I especially enjoyed those that included her father. Unfortunately, if you didn't hear it live, you never will. Once again the WPVM archiving system failed to record the show, and neither Sebastian nor I, sadly, had brought a blank CD to use in the low-tech, but mostly reliable, back-up system. So it's gone, sound waves dissipated into the atmosphere.

My apologies to Lori; we'll have her back on the show and do it all again just as soon as her schedule and the show's permit.

After the show I poked around and found another issue: the automated FTP upload for last week's show had also gone awry, and the show never uploaded to the site from which it podcasts and streams. In fact, it's impossible to tell now when the last show uploaded. So we'll be talking again to WPVM's beleaguered manager about how we can fix the latest round of glitches, and make as certain as possible that they won't occur in the future.

At least until Mercury once again goes retrograde.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This week on Wordplay: Natures

This week’s show, still available via stream or podcast from the WPVM archive page, features my debut reading of NatureS from April, 2006. The reading took place at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, and I talked a bit about the Black Mountain poets, especially Creeley, and my sense of their relevance to my own work. I also wanted to speak to the poetics that informs the work, and so spent probably too much time talking about parataxis, as practiced particularly by Robin Blaser, and about Novalis, whose Encyclopedia explores the identity of the character each of us calls “I” in a way that remains useful some two hundred years, now, further on.

Listening to the recording for the first time just ten or twelve days ago, I realized that I had seriously mangled my recapitulation of Creeley’s accounting of the argument between Wittgenstein and Russell. Wittgenstein refused to agree with Russell’s assertion that there was no rhinoceros in the room, and Russell, so the story goes, tried to prove to him empirically that, in fact, no such creature was around; he looked under tables and chairs, and so on. My telling scrambles Wittgenstein’s position, and so obscures the import of the whole argument - and, sadly, likewise obscures the humor of the situation as legend tells us it unfolded. When Creeley told the story, he managed to keep that humor. My apologies to Bob’s spirit, and to any who might listen to this version, for getting things scrambled in my jangled brain that night.

We don’t offer feature our own work on Wordplay, but we had a week with no guest on board, and I’d been having difficulties cleaning up a noisy recording of Jonathan Williams that I wanted to air, … so there it is. Enjoy. We’ll hopefully be able to include the Williams reading in a future show.

Update: Coming up Sunday (or Monday via on-demand stream and podcast), Lori Horvitz.

Cross-posted at NatureS.