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spacer.gif
spacer.gif   STYLE TWO: THE SONIC TRANCE STYLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:50 PM
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Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines .
Burnt Toast
by Michelle Rigot
Recorded at Rubato Sound Labs
Reviewed by C. J. Laity


Michelle Rigot (who recently made her ChicagoPoetry.com debut at the Guild Complex's Chicago Poetry Uncensored show) has taken the art of the recorded spoken-word to the extreme. Burnt Toast, a professionally recorded audio CD, mixes her sexy, moaning voice with the minimal, moody sounds of guitars, drums and electric piano. Seven of Rigot's disturbing, orgasmic poems are contained on this disk. The language is, at times, hypnotic, and, at times, sharp as a razor, creating in the listener the simulation of falling in and out of drug inducement.

I'm pulling it in but I don't know what breath this is I only know what sip this is 'cause I'm staring at the tipped-back bottom of this broken down bottle of brown liquid and sin . . .

(from "I Don't Know")

The brevity of the performance on this CD suites the mood. The entire recording is only twenty-one minutes long, no longer than a normal feature at a local venue. But, as a feature, it is a tight feature, one that kept me listening on the edge of my seat, holding my breath in anticipation, as if Rigot's relaxed, grainy, run-on sentences would at any time explode:

the life sucking your
placenta-filled nourishment
not nourishment at all
but deprivation and
starving
and it has
a distrust in me so deep
that scars aren't even scars
but trails
tiny little lonely heart trails
etching and aching to understand
your infidelity and
delicately
asking for it to be


(from "was i")

Burnt Toast also includes pages with a written copy of each poem. I think it's great that the listener is also offered the opportunity to see the poems in print. For example, one would not know that the poem "Gospel" is written in the shape of a crucifix by the audio alone. And one would not know the emphasis that Rigot intends for certain metaphors or images by the page alone. Combining the performance with the page gives a wonderful glimpse into the entirety of the art of performance poetry.

I give Burnt Toast a big Quills Up.

--C. J. Laity

GO TO STYLE THREE

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Note: Michelle Rigot (who recently made her ChicagoPoetry.com debut at the Guild Complex's Chicago Poetry Uncensored show) has taken the art of the recorded spoken-word to the extreme.

 
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