Monday, October 02, 2006

Some things that happened in New York

My flight was delayed for hours. Airport security confiscated my shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, and fancy Aveda aftershave. Which sucked, because I had planned on grooming the pilot to death. Actually, my theory goes like this -- terrorists have beards. If they take away everyone's shaving cream, then everyone will have beards, and the terrorists will be easy to spot. As I was nearly strip searched, a group of security guards was looking at me. "That ain't him," one of them was yelling. When I walked past, he said, "They thought you was Clay Aiken." Which is funny, because I usually get Kelly Clarkson. I met up with Chris Salerno at the airport and we spent time drinking coffees and Cokes for exactly two dollars and fiftenn cents a pop. Someone actually named "Osama" was paged over the airport intercom. Chris rented a car in Queens and offered me a ride to Brooklyn. We got on the Williamsburg bridge going the wrong way and wound up on the Lower East Side. I got to Amy King's (my friend and lovely host for the weekend) apartment at 5, just two hours before my reading at Stain Bar, but not before going to a dollar store to replenish my toiletries, including an incredibly sketchy and generic looking deodorant called "Health Allways Clear Stick Deodorant." Stain Bar was a beautiful space for a reading, with a house cat and high copper ceilings. Aaron Belz was really funny, his deadpan reading style served his hilarious poems well. I read OK-- the crowd was sparse because of Dan Hoy's competing reading and the fucked up L train, but not small enough to be depressing-- and ended with a cut-up of the phrase "A Cello Voiced Viper" using my sampler. I need to figure out how to integrate the loops more seamlessly into my readings. Jenny Boully read well but it seemed very short-- she seemed nice but I didn't get a chance to talk to her very much. After the reading I went to a Mexican restaurant with Brandon Stosuy, his friend Thom the poet (I can't remember Thom's last name), Jane, Eliza, and Martin Smith. I drank Dos Equis and had a nice conversation with Thom about poetry and noise music. I went for a nightcap at an Irish pub with Martin, then slouched back to Amy's and collapsed on my air mattress like an invertabrate. Amy has a yippy little dog that I call Charles Barkley because she barks so much. Charles Barkley developed an unsettling rash during my visit -- I hope she's ok now, and that she wasn't allergic to me.

On Saturday I met Marc Hogan for brunch in Manhattan. Marc's very friendly and talks very fast, so we talked about a lot over the course of the afternoon. I liked him. We went and saw Chris Salerno read at the Ear Inn (it used to be called the Bear Inn, but the "B" fell off). After the reading we all went to H&M together and I spent fifty dollars that I probably should've saved for rent. On the way, we saw Jack Black, but we were too cool to make a big deal about it. Marc and Chris left H&M before me, and when I left alone, I turned the wrong way on Broadway and wound up in the financial district. Amy thought this was really funny. I had sushi with Amy and my old friend Janet that evening, then went to a reading at Thom's place. I missed E. Tracy Grinnell, but caught Andrew Levy, who I only knew by name until then. He was great, I will definitely have to check out his books.

Sunday was very busy -- I went to the Bowery Poetry Club in the afternoon to see Chris read with Julian Semelian, but Julian didn't show up (are you okay Julian?). Chris Salerno said he was going to meet me outside and vanished without a trace. New York is quite possibly swallowing poets whole, although I emerged unscathed. That evening I ate Vietnamese food with Alex Abramovich in Chinatown. That was really nice -- talking to Alex always renews my enthusiasm for music writing in general and Moistworks specifically. All my friends in New York were either celebrating Jewish holidays, going to see the Mountain Goats, going to see the Hold Steady, or just Sunday-night tired, so I went to the Mercury Lounge alone to see Michael Idov's band, Spielerfrau. The crowd was small because of the aforementioned events but they played well, I met Michael and his wife Lily and the keyboardist Adam. Then I went back to Brooklyn and for some reason Amy and I wound up watching bum fights and Britney Spears parodies and Christina Aguilera clips on YouTube until like 3 in the morning. Amy always takes really good care of me when I come to New York. Now I'm back in North Carolina writing like a drunk stevedore (by which I mean "a lot") in order to replenish my decimated coffers. I'll upload some pictures when Blogger stops sucking so hard.