January 22, 2006

Cat Tyc & Cynthia Nelson

Sunday, January 22nd
7:30 pm

New American Art Union
922 SE Ankeny Street
$5 suggested donation.

Cat Tyc is a writer/videomaker recently transplanted to Portland from New York. Her poems have been published in the UK based litzine, /The Rising/, and other journals including /Wide Angle/ and /New York Nights/, as well as the Web sites http://www.nthposition.com, http://www.surgeryofmodernwarfare.com and http://www.xcp.bfn.org. She has a short story in the “Orpheus” edition of the Tiny Myth Series, a print/audio project that focuses on one Greek myth per issue (http://pocketmyths.blogspot.com/). Her video installations have shown at The Construction Company in Manhattan, the Collision Machine space in Brooklyn, as part of the Brooklyn Art Council’s Film and Video Festival in 2004 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and at Ladyfest East. Her next video installation, “The Night the Whole World Caught on Fire,” will premiere at Anthology Film Archives in NYC as part of the New Filmmakers Series this month.

Cynthia Nelson is a recent transplant to Portland although she has spent lots of time on the West Coast, and everywhere else in the U.S. for that matter. With her bands Ruby Falls, Retsin, The Naysayer, and Cynthia Nelson, she has toured and toured, a veritable vagabond. Living in New York City off and on for fourteen years had her wrangling with its poetry scene and publishing three collections with the then-fledgling Soft Skull Press, most recently The Kentucky Rules, which chronicles time spent living in Louisville. Her final opus to New York, Libertina Serenade, is due out next year. She recently completed her MFA in Poetry at Bard College, and a collection of her work there is called Space in a Barely Moment. With regards to Oregon, it is all she can do not to write about trees.

from "The Gravity Line"


Words can be recycled. Truly bio-degradable. The only thing she is truly sure is organic.

Meaning warrants it even though language does have its own anatomy.

A string of letters between white spaces made for the use of the eyes, ears and mouth to represent a multitude of belief and desire.

The meaning in a verb: to express existence, possession, action, motion.

Now make it all dissolve.

To separate apathy from incredible, concentrate stress and the lack thereof.

Alone with English, the perpetrator is a process; slurring, swallowing, and cutting corners.

Reconstructing this veil is kind of like eating dirt.

Her favorite kind only breeds certain kinds of trees.

She is better at this than with bottles.

Secretly a surrealist, obsessed with objects and their displacement.

Sometimes the transferred oils from hands.

In so many of the lost poems, she referred to holes in herself.

In one, she opened her rib cage to offer soup. But, unlike the others, she never referred to her neck.

Aware of the Lego model aesthetic, but not interested in commenting on it.

Surprised but not much so by the initial apprehension to Robert Frank's honest but bleak representation of America, she yearns to live in a creepy Edward Hopper house.

She is left with a new fear of mail fraud.

—Cat Tyc

It Was Winter

It was winter it was winter. But now it's
Creepy winter. Much after six, the evening sun
Slants, newspapers blowing all over dead grass.
Scattering plastic bags we are still closed up.
We are not free to roam we have been tantalized.
We get false spring a lot. It makes winter harder.
Starts us working to the tune of spring. Mentally the
Winterwear’s been packed away. Can't continue on
Ice roads screaming for betterment. Buds are cocoons,
Turning over in their grey putty-wombs.

—Cynthia Nelson