Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kind of Like Madonna! Only Way, Way Different!

Richard Peabody is reading a week from now, and I'm not even going to try to condense the bio for this space. All I can think about at this hour is falling over laughing like 20 years ago hearing him read a poem with a line about "the cereal shot from guns." You'll just have to look here to get the full story. But those Morton Salt Girl-era poems are still fresh. Must be the preservatives.

He's published Paul Bowles and Nick Cave and A.M. Holmes and more than a thousand more. He can make a poem or a story out of standing in the kitchen, or listening to German metal at a stupid bar, or, of course, taking care of his kids. He's killed off his magazine and brought it back from the dead. Mondo Barbie, Mondo Jimi, Mondo Elvis, Mondo Abortion? (I wonder if he gets how brave he is, or how many artists he's made a difference to? We're not supposed to talk about things like that, but I can, because I never have to worry about being cool.) Do you know how hard it is to put out even one damn book? A really long time ago, he was a wrestler.

The other night my husband and I were doing late-night puttering, computers and phones and TVs going, and he had on Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead, and I was taken by this scene, just looking right past the whole Nic Cage factor, watching John Goodman do what he does, and there's this monologue for Cage and in the background this pattern of lights behind him, and I'm thinking gorgeous mid-60s technicolor, right, but the thing is with Scorsese, he's probably referencing 12 other pictures I don't even know about and have never seen, and here it's all packed into one simple almost throwaway scene in a picture not even considered by many to be his best. That's an artist on top of his game, and it's what you gain insight into when you see one who's been working that game for a while. Sprezzatura, and I'm sure there's also a word for it in Japanese. Come on out next Wednesday and see.

Photo: Another one I haven't read and want to. Angela Carter's in this one, y'all, it's just getting ridiculous!

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