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spacer.gif   FRIDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR POETING AT DvA GALLERY
Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 01:36 AM
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Chicago Poetry Photos .
Photos and captions by C. J. Laity



The impressive crowd that showed up for the February 4th first-Friday quadruple feature at DvA Gallery, 2568 N. Lincoln Ave., included a virtual who's who of Chicago poetry. Among the local bards chrisening the weekend with poetry were Ruan Wright, Emily Calvo, Whitney Scott, Todd Heldt, J. J. Jameson, Mike Puican, Michelle Rigot, Barry Silesky, Bonnie T. Summers, and Brenda Cardenas. Charlie Newman introduced the four features, who read for about twenty minutes each in this wonderful venue.



Larry Janowski left "no hold barred" with funny as well as serious poems. He explained the origin of his "Cosmic Pinball" poem; apparently, Another Chicago Magazine poet Barry Silesky once challenged him to write a poem about his favorite sport. Janowski also read a frightening piece about Eric Morse, the 5-year-old boy who was dangled and dropped out of the 14th floor window of the Ida B. Wells Public Housing Project on Chicago’s south side, which recreated the child's point of view with startling effects. I think Tony Trigilio is on to something when he says that Larry Janowski "writes the best Chicago poems of anyone" he knows.



Tony Trigilio broke the rules and read a poem about his cat. His bizarre set included poems that compared Jack Lord of Hawaii Five-0 to Jesus Christ, with an epigraph from the TV Guide. "This must be a sequence," he said, "because I have more than one." Trigilio also read about Chicago and its "Lakeside winds so loud it changes the subject." Other subject matters included the face on Mars, a llama, dead people, the state of the union address, and getting paranoid while hiking.



Chris Green demonstrated a unique wit with his poems, one inspired by Mark Strand's hair (proving that "There's poetry in homemade hairspray"), another about the effects of Barry White music on shark mating, another about a suspicious pigeon ("Hoo hoo hoo") and yet another about being in line at the Barnes and Noble. He also read a piece about a "New Year Moon Cake" that explained the history of the fortune cookie and revealed the corporate secrets of presliced cheese. Green also shared some profound imagery with his description of two humans cut into slices at the museum.



It was satisfying to hear Jan Bottiglieri read, because she strayed from the humorous stylings of the men, reading some serious work and giving the evening a little variety. During one of her poems she described an egg as "the heel of my infant son cupped in my palm," a very crisp metaphor. Bottiglieri is one of Chicago's freshest female voices, and it was wise to put her at the end, because she would have been a hard poetic act to follow.

DvA holds a reading on the first Friday of the month, from 8 until 9:30 PM.



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Note: On February 4th a bunch of poets converged upon the DvA Gallery. Here are some images from the event.

 
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