Joseph Bradshaw and Chris Piuma
Wednesday, June 26
2505 SE 11th Ave. (at Division)
Joseph Bradshaw is the author of In the Common Dream of George Oppen (Shearsman). He's currently writing a book about New York. Some of this work has appeared recently in Elective Affinities, Cannibal, and James Yeary's newsletter, and is forthcoming in chapbooks from Potlatch Discordian Network and Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs.
Chris Piuma is still living in Toronto and working on a PhD. He is editing (with David Hadbawnik) an issue of the journal kadar koli on "dystranslation", which should be out soon, and he's an editor of eth press, which will publish contemporary poetry that engages with medieval texts. His most recent chapbook, Bell-lloc, was published by Airfoil. He is a co-founder of Spare Room.
Creative Writing in New York City
We all hope to be Joseph Ceravolo, but he must have been miserable. When he was writing Millenium Dust, self-snared in New Jersey, hating his proximity to John Ashbery, not wanting the pomp of the city to enter his nostrils, Ceravolo wouldn't have wanted anything to do with the internet, he didn't want to shake hands with any poets. When the tumors that killed him were growing inside his body he either didn't know it or he did and he let that feeling of the body rotting from the inside direct his writing. These days we call Joseph Ceravolo "publicity shy," but in the last years of his life he'd been mostly forgotten by his contemporaries, not yet discovered by a younger generation. He didn't exist. And this is what makes Ceravolo's posthumous Mad Angels so tragic, it's not what makes it beautiful, because a poem needs to exist in time for it to be beautiful and Mad Angels doesn't exist in time, it is lost and you won't find it in the Collected Poems, where it's been lovingly edited by Rosemarie Ceravolo and some guy from Wesleyan University. The poems you'll find under the title Mad Angels are only representations of time wasted and lost and in this way they appear beautiful but we so often confuse pomp for beauty, everyone knows this, especially Ben Fama and Steve Roggenbuck and Joseph Ceravolo and Ted Rees and David Wojnarowicz and I can't stand the thought of ever leaving New York City. Nothing feels better than returning after being somewhere else, even in cities with humble friends who listen, because the shittiness common to all cities and all people is so much more unbearable everywhere else. Friends will never distract you in New York, they'll sing to you O let me let me forever ever weep and you'll call back O mine eyes have dried out, my gaze hardened, the circles beneath my sockets blackened, cracked and sagging and you'll wonder if you'll die here soon or if you'll die years from now, in some sunken place at some predictable stage of life, surrounded by your loved ones and their loving smiles and nervous hands.
mark my works
chiff chaff chuff
where choirs ruin'd latebirds snag
a daft pony remains
we are not a muse