Sure enough, Kevin Young read several selections from his Basquiat book last night at his reading for the Blacksmith House Poetry Series. It's the only book by Young I've read all the way through. I'm not always a fan of some of his more narrative poems or the slam aspects of his delivery. Hearing the Basquiat poems reminded me why I enjoyed To Repel Ghosts so much: Young's effort to engage Basquiat in a dialogue, letting his three-line stanzas grapple with specific images and phrases in the paintings. In these poems, biography and art remain indissolubly joined. I look forward to reading The Remix.
I hadn't listened to the Silver Jews until their latest album, Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City, 2005). David Berman's monotonous voice ends up making sense after a while.
Also on Drag City, Joanna Newsom's album grows more beautiful with each listen. Tangled lyrics through a sharp, sometimes piercing voice.
Sigur Rós Takk (Geffen, 2005) is also on the turntable, helping me practice my Icelandic.