Archive for mental marginalia

Listen, I’m Doing A Bunch of Things This Month

Posted in event, Lists, music, people to watch for, poetry, the universe will wreck you, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/08/2012 by alex c

November’s a big month for me as I have three events (plus the usual Mental Marginalia) coming up with some good people and I’d love to see you out at some or all of them…

First up:
Tuesday, 11/13, 7:30pm
@ Bear
12-14 31st Avenue, Long Island City
An admixture of poetry and fiction paired with liquors and foodstuffs. A salon in which poor taste will mingle with the delectable; ears and mouths stuffed and stumbling.

The Readers:
Beth Amodeo
Alex Crowley
Keara Driscoll
Robert Tumas

There will be $5 Dirty Martinis, bar snacks on a menu specially designed by Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky, and a happy hour following the evening’s proceedings.

Saturday, 11/17, 7pm (?)
@ Brooklyn Fire Proof
119 Ingraham Street (at Porter Ave.) Brooklyn (Morgan L)

Join curators Eric Nelson and Mike Lala at Brooklyn Fire Proof for Fireside Follies’ second event this season, featuring:

Dorothea Lasky (Thunderbird)
Macgregor Card (Duties of an English Foreign Secretary)
Courtney Maum (Big Things in Small Places)
Alex Crowley
Olivia Kate Cerrone

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Tuesday, 11/27, 8pm
@ The West Brooklyn
379 Union Ave., Brooklyn (L/G to Lorimer & Metropolitan)

Mark Gurarie & I host, these cats read:
Tom Oristaglio
Fred McKindra
Alex Norelli
+1 tba

and last, but not least:
Thursday, 11/29, 8pm
@ Legion Bar
790 Metropolitan Ave. Brooklyn (Graham L)

We’ve got a new bassist & we haven’t played since February. Per usual, come listen b/c who knows when we’ll play next!
We’re sharing this bill with some fantastic bands. Come out and enjoy the fantastic-ness.

Here’s the order of bands:
9:00, Big Plastic Finger,
9:45, Warmth,
10:30, Beasty,
11:15, Old Monk,

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

“Why I Laugh?” Poetry Readings & Audience Feedback

Posted in essays, interesting things that caught my attention, poetry, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 03/29/2012 by alex c

As both a co-host of a poetry reading series and someone who has lately attended a fair amount of readings, I’ve begun to notice certain reading trends. The most notable one, and one that more seasoned readers and reading-goers probably recognized long ago, is the inherent connectivity bias an audience develops with more humorous readers. At our Mental Marginalia reading last night, of our five readers, the work of three tended away from overt humor, often eschewing it entirely. The other two poets utilized it extensively, which isn’t to say they used it as a crutch, but it was a heavier element in a broad emotional mix. These latter two received the most immediate and obvious audience reaction (though all five readers received very positive reactions at the end of their “sets”).

This makes sense. People laugh at funny things, so there’s always a straightforward way to know what worked. When that element isn’t present, it’s much more difficult for an audience to outwardly demonstrate their affinity for a particular poem. People tend not to applaud after each poem – unless it’s totally mind-blowing – which I’ve always found a little bit too polite, but I think it also stems from the fact that if people did do that, it would be very obvious when something failed, whether intentionally funny or not.

Failure is a good thing, though. Continue reading

GET LIT – Madness @ AWP Chicago

Posted in event, people to watch for, poetry, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , on 03/01/2012 by alex c

Onto chairs we are slightly taller because we are of average height.
We have cracked your porcelain in a hat.
We wear these truths to be shameless.
Onto chairs we sing out of key versions of our favorite songs because that is what we are
unknown for & we like it that way.
We are skipping solos.
Perhaps your growing illegitimate in your autumn is the only excuse for premature badass-ness.
It’s genetic.
Onto chairs we form the firm foundations of our furniture fortifications.
Get Lit

Jurgen Klinsmann Press Conference

Posted in essays, poetry, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , on 08/03/2011 by alex c

My co-conspirator in the MENTAL MARGINALIA Reading Series, Mark Gurarie, has published my recent piece “Jurgen Klinsmann Press Conference” over at his site, TaoLinIsGoingDownButIRemain.

You’ll feel like one of the folks below when you read it— Go check it out!


Posted in event, people to watch for, places to check out, poetry, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , on 07/20/2011 by alex c

Beginning next Wednesday (July 27), Mark Gurarie (of TaoLinIsGoingDown…) and I will be hosting a monthly reading series at the new-ish West Café in Williamsburg. This grand inauguration will double as a release party for Supposedly the Universe—a new chapbook Mark & I edited—and feature a solid lineup of the recent New School MFAs whose work populates said chapbook. Don’t expect some stuffy, staid poetry reading from these mongrels. Do, however, prepare to think and drink while the next wave of literary geniuses breaches your cognitive levee. Free copies of Supposedly the Universe will be available.

For more info on MENTAL MARGINALIA email mentalmarginaliapoetry [at] gmail [dot] com or follow us at