Sunday, July 29, 2007
Clark Coolidge's PENNsound page is one I happily recommend. I think my favorite set of recordings there is from his March 2000 reading at the University of California at Santa Cruz, hosted by Peter Gizzi. Peter's introduction--also among the recordings--is itself a fine introduction to Coolidge's life and importance to contemporary poetics. After the reading Coolidge took a few questions. Someone asked about burn-out (a writer reaching the end of writing) and Coolidge responded by speaking of Kerouac's line, Where pain don't take you by surprise. Coolidge discusses Kerouac's line and Kerouac, and then he re-reads the poem in which Kerouac's idea occurs. I think the Coolidge-Kerouac connection is quite edifying. Here's the recording. And here is Coolidge's essay on Kerouac's sound or "babble flow"--for instance, "Black black black black bling bling bling bling black black black black bling bling bling bling black black black black bling bling bling...." The essay was first published in the January/February 1995 issue of American Poetry Review.