May 12, 2010

Bruce Boone & Maryrose Larkin

Wednesday, May 12
7:30 pm

Concordia Coffee House
2909 NE Alberta
$5.00 suggested donation

Bruce Boone grew up in the Portland of the 1940s and 50s, and left at 17. He lives in San Francisco with his dog Sadie. He used to live with his partner of two decades, Jamie. Though Jamie is no longer here Bruce wants to write about him now.
    Meantime there has been much frou-frou and many fetes in New York and the Bay Area since the republication of his books Century of Clouds and My Walk with Bob.
    First published in 1980, Century of Clouds, based on Boone's experiences at the summer meeting of Marxism and Theory Group in St. Cloud, Minnesota, takes up issues of sexuality, political and theoretical identity, religion, and friendship in the characteristically rich and varied writing of the New Narrative movement.

Maryrose Larkin lives in Portland, where she works as a freelance researcher.
    She is the author of Inverse (nine muses), Whimsy Daybook 2007 (FLASH+CARD), The Book of Ocean (i.e.), DARC (FLASH+CARD) and The name of this intersection is frost, forthcoming later this year from Shearsman.
    Maryrose is one of the organizers of Spare Room, and is co-editor, with Sarah Mangold, of FLASH+CARD, a chapbook and ephemera poetry press.

from Century of Clouds

In Century of Clouds I wanted to offer you a way of feeling the same emotions of elation and joy I experienced myself -- or (to a degree) fabricated. Readers, is writing really the same as truth-telling? (In Hesiod the muses admit they "sometimes lie.") The ability to do this kind of emotional writing requires a calculus of rigorous effects, a special technique -- in my case in the book, it was commentary and analysis -- as well as honesty.
    To be frank, I started out with quite noble aspirations, and always in the name of politics so that my efforts would never besmirch the noble name of politics. But after writing a bit, I saw that my supposedly true account of some particular emotion sometimes failed to be emotionally moving and worse, was boring. I did what we all do, that is all writers (and probably all humans). Thus Century of Clouds isn't without its white lies. Sometimes I do fabricate, I make things up, put things into language, sheerly for the sake of beauty and the emotion -- and to hell with the truth. Reader, I know you are scandalized -- shocked!
    So lets put it another way. In the normal course of things it's the cerebellum that musters emotion. To write in order to give the reader access to heights of transport is to reverse things and to harness the intellect to the service of emotions. To elicit emotions, you need a kind of false subject that will make the reader comfortable. Traditionally it was the work of shamanism and now it's the task of psychoanalysis to unravel that false "I." The work of writing is the opposite -- to reconstitute this phoney "I."

Bruce Boone

from Late Winter 30

look again: shadow chaos       train chaos       expecting   never       

partly   a          mouthpiece      partially an other partly indifferent

              winter winter             

dodger cirrocumulus or every  or suffer  or mouth    or  late thirty passed over

doppler impossible she pushed into a shadow and it pushed back      

                        don't look       

partly partially partly  window    partly fractured  inland   and in body and    system      partly mixing up and                  pinked out

Maryrose Larkin