First            Audio-Anthology         of         Post Modern
L = A = N = G = U = A = G = E = P = O = E = T = R = Y
Edited by Charles Bernstein
Digitally Remastered for Archival Collections From Original Taped Readings (1978-1993)
at Manhattan's Historic Ear Inn

A compact disc from Elemenope Productions conceived and produced by Richard Dillon (1994) .

Digitally remastered archival recordings of 13 poets reading
with a 32-page booklet including
substantial excerpts from the texts of the poems, photos, and brief statements from the poets.

The Ear Inn, a small bar on Spring Street near Tribeca (just before it turns into the Hudson River), has been the home of arguably the best reading series in New York City over the past two decades. Ted Greeenwald and I started the Saturday afternoon series in the Fall of 1978 with a reading by John Ashbery and Michael Lally. Over the many Saturdays that followed, the audience has shifted in size, the PA system has worked and had conked out, the noise from the bar has sometimes become intrusive.

But the commitment to a continuing renewal of the art of poetry has never faltered; a commitment, that is, to a spectrum of writing that places its attention primarily on language and ways of making meaning, that takes for granted neither vocabulary, grammar, process, syntax, program, or subject matter – indeed where all these dynamics remain at play.

Over the years, the Ear Inn series has been able to retain its vitality because of the energy and judgment of the poets who have curated the program, for sometimes just a month and for sometimes several years; in particular Mitch Highfill, Jeanne Lance, Andrew Levy, Rob Fitterman, Laynie Brown, James Sherry of the Segue Foundation, George Peck of the Ear Inn have all been crucial to keeping the series going.

– C.B., New York, January 1994

click on speaker icon for streaming.

Susan Howe: I wish I could tenderly lift from the dark side of history voices that are anonymous, slighted - inarticulate.

mp3: reading from "Speeches at the Barriers," in Europe of Trusts. Recorded October 22, 1983. (6:41)

Ron Silliman: The two tables in front were crowded with young men with crew cuts and flat tops, a little too neat to be skinheads. It turned out that they were cadets from West Point, sent by an English professor on an assignment to hear a reading in Manhattan. The Ear Inn, serving beer mid-afternoon, fit the bill. I couldn't tell what they made of Oz until the line "your haircut's too political" when they burst out laughing.

mp3: reading from Oz. Recorded April 12, 1986. (6:01)    text version

Leslie Scalapino in "bum series" (a section in the center of the poem, Way) was trying to get a shape or a sound that's movement in locations, and is also compassion by itself (objectively) occurring (not imposed) in these locations.

mp3: reading from "bum series" in Way. Recorded December 13, 1986.

Ted Greenwald:
one foot in the other world
the other foot in the other world

mp3: reading from You Bet. Recorded January 31, 1981. (6:05)    text version

Rosmarie Waldrop: Reproduction of Profiles is a narrative tease using "semantic sliding." I used the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's phrase in a free, unsystematic way, sometimes quoting, sometimes letting them spa rk what they would, sometimes substituting different nouns within a phrase (e.g., his famous anti-metaphysical statement that "the deepest questions are no questions at all" becomes "You could prove to me that the deepest rivers are, in fact, no rivers at all.").

mp3: reading from Reproduction of Profiles. Recorded December 15, 1984.    text version

Alan Davies:
Love is Life Source.
Soul is Life Energy
Spirit is Life Force.

mp3: reading "Shared Sentences" from Active 24 Hours. Recorded February 4, 1989.

Barrett Watten: Under Erasure was written "through" the hiatus of 1989 and argues out the epochal implications of that end. As with the revised version of Stein's Making of Americans, there are implications for social communication in a poetics of ellipses, considering what has been elided (and all the possibility that went with it), but making use of the ciphers that remain.

mp3: reading from Under Erasure. Recorded January 2, 1993. (5:45)

Erica Hunt: Will there be any room for the future? A fat future ripe with possibility and potential defeats - or accident or tedium? We sit down by our relics as the market wars break out on the streets. We are not prepared to rot, yet we wait as if someone will fix this for us, wake us in time for breakfast and smiles.

mp3: reading from "cold war breaks," in Local History. Recorded May 20, 1990. (4:28)   text version

Bruce Andrews: Only the pivot, language locus embodies us bodies imperatively impossible.

mp3: reading "I Knew the Signs by Their Tents." Recorded March 12, 1988. (5:43)   text version

Hannah Weiner: I am a clairvoyant writer "all these on my forehead words are seen "SILENT TEACHER now I hear words even without the phone silent conversations.

mp3: reading from Spoke. Recorded October 10, 1983. (5:40)

Steve McCaffery: If the aim of philosophy is, as Wittgenstein claims, to show the fly the way out of the fly bottle, then the aim of poetry is to convince the bottle that there is no fly.

mp3: reading from "The Curve to its Answer," variant in Theory of Sediment. Recorded January 11, 1985. (5:10)

Ann Lauterbach: Poems intervene or intersect between telling and told, and are vagrant as such, which gives place to the Ear, the in. Inward is complex as urban locale; this poem an expansion whose multiple sources allow curiosity unhindered by answers but determined by language as that which we hear in the near. In this instance, an homage to Charles Bernstein, "Shaman of Discourse," who knows the difference between here or drear.

mp3: reading "Opening Day" from Clamor. Recorded January 4, 1992. (4:38)

Charles Bernstein: Poetry and poetics are part of an exploration not so much of how I can make words mean something I want to say but rather letting language find ways of meaning through me. Form is never more than extension of sound and syntax: the music of poetry is the sound of sense coming to be in the world.

mp3: reading from "Dark City," in Dark City. Recorded January 4, 1992. (6:44)


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