Monday, September 21, 2009

The New Talkies, de Young Museum, San Francisco 9/11/09

• Friday passes procured at secret entrance.
• “Sound check.”
• Interns snaking poets past replica of Tutankhamun’s royal chair.
• Picking up phrase “deep rake” to describe altitude of museum theater.
• Wondering if “deep rake” will fill.
• Wondering will any poets fill deep rake on SPT’s cross-town opening night.
• Free sandwiches, free potato salad, free fruit salad, free wine in backstage “hospitality tent.”
Jaime Cortez practicing “The Fifth Element” in dressing room, mirror missing only that ‘Norma Desmond’ circumference of lights.
• Interns snaking poets from hospitality past jazz back to rake.
• Deep rake miraculously filled.
Paul Hoover and Konrad Steiner launching intros and history gracefully up into crowd.
• Performing to darkness with audience somewhere inside it.
Douglas Kearney and Nicole McJamerson “discovering” D.W. Griffiths’s lost last movie, a white fantasy about black urban rioting, in the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment from “Fantasia.”
• Nicole doing parodic square “film critic” voice, primly detaching technical and aesthetic advances from baldly racist content.
Jen Hofer turning the “silent service” into metaphor for invisible weapons of mass inhalation via apocalyptic ‘50s thriller “On the Beach.”
Andrew Choate equating words to food, and calling out gourmandizing tendencies endemic to both, with “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover.”
Jaime Cortez resurrecting Michael Jackson from the high fashion retro-futurism of “The Fifth Element.”
• Friends and poets and friends of poets climbing down rake to say hi. Vielen Dank to Maxine Chernoff, Kelly Holt, Scott Inguito, Lauren Levin, Rachel Loden, Dana Teen Lomax, Ronald Palmer, and Mac McGinnis, to all who came that I didn’t get to meet, and to “MRM” at Unruly Idiom for the great write-up.
• Clown car derby exiting after-hours parking lot.
• “Park Chow.”
Glen Park mezcal.
• Fade to black.


Rachel Loden said...

You were inspiring! The whole thing was inspiring. Now I'm dying to make one -- and to read those quaint old things, books, but am instead buried in the Springhill mining disaster of my inbox.

rodney k said...

Hi Rachel,

V. glad you were there. You should totally do one--I'd love to see what you come up with.

konrad said...

A brilliant aspect of the premiere of Douglas and Nicole's piece was that it took place last spring at a Disney theater on the anniversary of the Rodney King riots.

Rodney, you performed your piece impeccably, moving about occupying that large dark space before the silent screen.

Rachel Loden said...

Yes, you seemed possessed! Much fun. Thanks to Konrad for the vision behind this whole thing.

François Luong said...

Sorry to have missed that. Sitka, Anne and I were in Buffalo that weekend.