...where would it Begin and End, now that we’re swimming in the midst of it all?
I’m deliriously excited that we have a sister club across the continent – Luis and Trini Rodriguez, having left sweet home Chicago, now operate the poetry club Tia Chucha Culture Center in Sylmar, CA. This extraordinary verb noun makes the strip mall into a shrine of love.
TCCC is currently open Tues-Sat with a full complement of readings and workshops. Luis is going more the nonprofit route – we’ve got a new 501.c.(3) (Bowery Arts) in case you’d like to tax deductibly contribute to the Club.
But we think it’s time to acknowledge the Horrific Triumph of Capitalism and see if poetry, placed in an amenable circumstance, full of pleasure, music, danger, intellectual irascibility, hiphop, highbrow culture, multiculti activism, communal chutzpah, Po Mo Beatology, and the Best Coffee on the Block, can make a go of it on The Bowery.
We’re dedicated to the proposition that poetry finds its own book. In other words, it wasn’t until the 1960s that historians remembered that Homer didn’t write The Iliad and The Odyssey – in fact, he didn’t write at all, being pre-alphabet.
Rather, Homer was the Cusp of Writing, and that move from orality to writing is what’s behind the great power of those epics, that they contain the Remembered Tongue. The research began when scholars wondered why such a great writer as Homer would repeat “wine-dark sea” and other catch phrases – surely he was beyond redundant repetitions! Then the realization – these were mnemonics, placeholders, the inner rhythms of the oral tradition. There are those who define the word “homer” in early Greek as “master carpenter,” the one who joins together the quadrants that other carpenters carve, making the wheel whole in the same way that the Bard brought together all the stories into the Homeric Cycle. Rumor has it there were 400 of these Wandering Homers!
At the Bowery Poetry Club we look forward to the Onslaught of the New Homers. And yes, they can be in the oral tradition, or the cyber tradition, the cowboy or ASL traditions. This is where poetry has a home. Drop us a line. Don’t forget the line break. Drop in for a drop of coffee. Stay for the poetry.
Thus ends our story thus far. Perhaps you’d like to “join” in here with another aspect of the Story of Poetry. Don’t Forget: The Door to the Academy of the Future is Opening, as Ted Berrigan once lifted from John Ashbery….