Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reading with Tyrone Williams

I had the chance to read with poet Tyrone Williams a couple nights ago, when we moved our reading from Visible Voice books to Joseph Makkos' Language Foundry, in Tremont. You can hear a reading by Williams at A Voice Box here. Hearing Williams read is something like hearing a radio searching and switching, searching and switching--if that imaginary radio were playing recordings of hip-hop samples, shreds of found plays, noir films, gospel claps, and modern philosophy--and you have to be tuned in to what you can and cannot quite hear. In that way, it's poetry that moves closer to music than to story, and you have to ride its radiating waves. Here's one poem, whose subject is more or less clear, with its Middle Passage imagery. from On Spec:


kwansaba for Katherine Durham

[Carried over] was not what we carried
Out, what came up from the hold,
What held, however tenuous, ashes to smoke,
Smoke to motion, the rhythm of evading
Low-down mast, new-hold plank, whip-
Taut, strung across the bow, the stern,
Under, away from, which b(l)acks arched toward.


tyrone said...


Thanks for reading with me. It was great to just hang out and talk. Keep up the good work.

In admiration and solidatity,

Philip Metres said...

It was a good time, and you're a good sport to roll with the punches and change the reading site. Hope the Buffalo reading went well.

Susan said...

Joseph Makkos and Katherine Durham! I had both of them in UNO workshops!