When I first knew Jeff Janesheski, he had shaved his head and went about performing in a dress. Okay, okay, it was Bhutoh. Unlike many gringo pretenders, though, Jeff had actually studied and worked at that art, enough to get a grant from the Japan Foundation to do more one year.
Several years later--and I think I said something about this in an earlier blog-- I was pleased to hear that he had made his pilgrimmage to New York: he will be preparing the First Annual Bhutoh Festival for our delictation this fall, I believe. He is also a grad student in directing at Columbia's School of the Arts. Just to walk in someone else's mocassins for a while, he turned playwright and knocked out a one-act play which I had the opportunity to see this past Thursday at Cherry Lane. Se llama THE JOSH WITTS SHOW: I thought it was going to be a comedy!
Ha! A mother from Hell--truly from Hell--played by Janet Bryant, pathologically obsessed with her son. Said son, played by Matthew R. Wilson--our verrrrrry own Josh! Witts!--out of his gourd: off his meds, seeing blood on the trees (they are dying), then-- Here We Are! Josh as a latter day Johnny Carson, turning his whole mania into a late-night talk show. A sister (Miriam Sirota) who appears, in the language of the helping profession, to be "high functioning". The three actors do not mess around--they are energetic and professional. Matthew R. Wilson is certainly a quick change artist; Miriam Sirota appears to have energy to burn; Janet Bryant makes Mommy Dearest look like a bull in a china shop.
I guess what I was most surprised about was young Bhutoh Artist, master of the silent and slow, writing all those well-crafted words. In a way the play was an unflattering portrait of claustrophobia-inducing motherhood that made every mother in the audience squirm, I am sure; but when the awful truth emerges, we sigh with guilty relief--most mothers, thank God, don't do THAT. Then, too, the piece deals with some rather egregious old chestnuts and recurring tragedies--nothing new under the sun, folks; it's all in the presentation. If I would tweak at all, though, I would err on the side of racheting up the absurd in the variety show scenes. I would also love to meet that young man's shrink somewhere down the line!
Ahh, I am looking in my crystal ball....I see a MacArthur in your future... Jeff...
Celia Cruz, la Reina de Salsa, una "Grande Dame" de musica latina quien hemos perdida. Puede los angeles le cuida, Celia.
And, how could I?, Compay Segundo, who really didn't need Ry Cooder to make him famous.
Benny Carter, "the King," much revered early jazz artist of the Big Band era who died this past Saturday, just shy of aged 96. If you can, tune in to WKCR FM, the Columbia radio station--they've been playing ALL his work and will continue to do so through midnight tonight.avapvfopuli [1:19 p. m.]
Where, dear reader, is THAT? To be precise, 620 km (385 miles) NW of Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago; 945 km (590 miles) SW of MALE, Maldives; 1650 km (1030 miles) SW of COLOMBO, Sri Lanka. When you look at the map of the world, it appears to be in the middle of the ocean the the left of the African continent and considerably below the Indian sub-continent. I have learned that is still called the Indian Ocean. Clearly a lulu of a plate moves there, and, by clicking on "World", on the right of the NEIC main page, then "Indian Ocean," you can get a nice map of the ocean floor, with a sulphur-colored ridge clearly marked. Aha, that must be it! Their Wednesday, July 16, 2003 at 01:27:50 AM, our Tuesday, July 15, 2003 at 04:27:50 PM (EDT) the escala Richter reading was 7.6, enough for the NEIC to state carefully that "a major earthquake had occurred." Then today, Wednesday, July 16, 2003 at 07:29:48 AM, our yesterday--Tuesday, July 15, 2003 at 10:29:48 PM (EDT), another smaller tremor occurred: 5.6 escala Richter. At a depth of a mere 10.0--I am not exactly clear on this--I think we have some high waves a-comin'. Now, my next question for all you budding seismologists and meteorologists, is, how does that interract with (and is it) monsoon season?
I have some other things to say about Foster and Turkish poetry, but for the moment I stand in awe of my planet. She is larger than the day.
by the poet, Ed Foster assures me, recalling with astonishment "how many people can't imagine a source for poetry other than the self. They miss the point, the whole thing, being more interested in diaries than in poems." He suggests, "For one main source for the poem, and many more in that book, hear music by Zeki Muran and/or Bulent Ersoy. I was listening to them CONSTANTLY when the poems were written."
Would that I could link them, but the amount of popup windows on the former was more than I have ever received in my life, and the other was, well, unattainable. Better the Foster poem instead:
The Night Bright Tellak Came a God
A sweater would do him good.
Rose, lavender, spice, dark-skinned
Kurdish sweat. Our light's indifferent
to logical display. I'd rather
take my strength in friends. How men
can be like this, I've never known.
He, I (and you?) can do it, though.
Dear Levantine: this Kurd is made
from images, a surrogate for me —
swell tight, bright anger in my bed.
(btw: © Copywrites for all work revert to its appropriate author. Period.)
looms, this the quiet hour of the city, with only the hum of everyone's air conditioning, white noise du jour.
My bird is bedraggled because the occasion for my reading The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, my recent trip to the ER mit mein angst of the rotator cuff, turns out to need a return visit. "Beware the orthopods, my son! The jaws that snatch... The frumious bandersnatch..." (Oh, how stress puts strange perforations in the brain! Poor Alice!)
Strangely silent, immersed in several other writing projects, my first thought is, "Yes, but can I type?"
I have words, too, words to loose on y'all.avapvfopuli [1:09 a. m.]