Archive for Ben Greenman

Lit Death Match, Don’t Despair Poetry Conquers all

Posted in Book, Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I went to the Literary Death Match at Housing works this evening, and I’m pleased to report that all of the readers were quite good. The event was bizarrely being televised and it ended with some money throwing shenanigans, but apart from that it was fun. I was feeling alarmingly anti-social ( I know, quite taboo, coming from the Brooklyn Socialite, but cold weather is a strong and scary force), so I don’t think I spoke to anyone, except for a quick exchange with Ben Greenman on my way to the door. I was hungry, and eating pretzels ( my hungry food) wasn’t quite cutting it. They did manage to tide me over long enough to observe the following: the first round was a stand off between Tao Lin and Alex Rose. Alex was unremarkable, but Tao on the other hand was hysterical and shy, which I always find to be a great combination. He was sarcastic and dead pan and read a poem from the perspective of a salmon killing, yet lovable bear. The second round was for the ladies, Amy Sohn went up against Mishna Wolff. Mishna read pre-teen diary excerpts about a longstanding Jim Morrison obsession, while Amy created this sappy chick-flick character who gives a guy a blow job and then gets not so subtly dissed. They were both funny, and engaging, but please tell me why women have to sexually or psychologically demean themselves in public, in order to be approved of by the boys club of Literati. I’m noticing a trend that sexualized-self mocking in women, makes others feel comfortable somehow. It makes me uncomfortable, but I’m just going to respond to that with my own poem!

I have resuscitated my old literary blog, so read the rest of this piece there!

Permission

to request

attention

Smack down

for tall poppies

Christmas with your family

drunk Englishmen

in summer

wildly good-mannered

still, kind.

Or a twisted

Broadway musical

scene

with my family

an obligation

served by proximity

Read more!

A.M. Holmes, Stop Me If You’ve Heard This, Ben Greenman

Posted in art, Book, Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Yesterday evening, after pulling up with difficulty and enjoying a coffee and croissant at Choice, I managed to get a lot of actual work done, including the business of editing and writing. By 6:30, still somehow awake, I stumbled uptown to the Guggenheim to catch a reading by A.M. Holmes.

Who is A.M. Holmes you ask? Let’s start with our meeting. It was in the basement of the Guggenheim. After the reading inside one of the Catherine Opie galleries, which was very intimate and populated primarily by curators and other museum staff. Holmes read from her ‘fiction to accompany art’. This is a genre of her writing, which in this case was related to Catherine Opie, and which in the past has been applied to Ghada Amer, Cecily Brown, Rachel Whiteread and several other artists. After she read from the Opie story, there was a quick shy Q& A. My favorite quote from her was: “Contemporary life to me is kind of surreal, reality seems less and less applicable to me lately.” Next, we few remaining members of the public were ushered down to the basement for a wine and cheese reception. Out of the maybe 10 people who were now huddled in the basement, A.M. was surrounded by 4 of the head curators, in other words not easily accessible. Brazen with exhaustion, I decided to approach her for a quick Hi anyway. She shook my hand and thanked me for coming, “No, thank you I responded.” The conversation was quite simply, over… (!)

Ah well, now that she is on my radar, when next we speak, perhaps the discussion can extend to matters such as, her stint as an L-word writer, the several acclaimed novels she has written and her most recent work, a memoir entitled, The Mistresses Daughter. I might ask her about her rumored bisexuality (leave Brittney alone! I mean Lindsay), or how she makes the transition back and forth between writing fiction and art and literary criticism. I’d ask her for some advice probably.

One liners aren’t that terrible though, or so says Stop Me If You’ve Heard This. My review of that book recently came out in Boldtype. Here is a snippet:

“Stop Me If You’ve Heard This reads like a tall tale. In fact, it’s what Jim Holt might call a “long joke,” which, unlike a one-liner, could take an hour to tell. Holt strings the reader along, extending incredulity and curiosity, as he offers unlikely tidbits about the history and philosophy of jokes through detail-rich, well-delivered narration. No matter how preposterous some of it may seem, it is safe to assume this veteran reporter of both the BBC and the New Yorker is faithful to the facts. Holt discusses joke collectors and humor philosophers including such characters as G. Legman, the man who invented the vibrating dildo and coined the Phrase “Make Love, Not War.”” More

Finally, again on the lit tip, today I went to the launch of Ben Greenman’s new book at the Tenement Museum (GL). Decidedly more approachable, Greenman remembered me from the last time we met. I also got to see Fly, who was fascinating as always, and spoke to a few new and interesting writer/editor/publisher types. I would love to delve into the content of Greenman’s new book, oh and I will, but now I must sleep. Suffice it to say that it is a Luddite limited edition letter writing book project…more to come.

Lit Death Match Recap- to start

Posted in Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

OK friends I have so many things that I want to recap right now, but my popcorn just beeped in the microwave and the DVD player is waiting. I rented Itty Bitty Titty Committee so that I could find out what all the fuss last night was about. Got to go watch and get back to you.

On to the Literary Death Match, presented by Opium magazine. Well I was going to write a little summary, but when I went back to review my notes, just seconds ago, I realized that they may be better in all their unabridged glory. Courtesy of my new iphone (we’ll talk about that soon) Here they are:

Lincoln Michel
Spit talked and was boring.
Ben Greenman said that be confuses animals and people.He likes airplane catalogs and “long bills”. Kurt says, “tuck in your shirt!”, no eye contact, spoke too fast, this guy Kurt Bodden is funny
Jodi bullock says, “don’t make word definition mistakes.”

Katherine Taylor
Not so funny and yet published in the Times, blonde, I don’t like the way she reads ‘dumb woman style’
“How you know you are a cliché”
Lit merit: greenman says style is hard to pull off but she kinda pulled it off and felt like jokes on Brooklyn writers. “There will be no bad sandwich in your memory”. Kurt; second person imperative voice. Spoonerism… Jodi says Chablis pronunciation, good story. Fear of umbrellas.

Lit matches in Europe
Baby voice

Dennis Diclaudio
Tic tac up the butt story w/therapist
Story is better than reading style
Lots of whiny bratty writer shit
Tic tac is cover for whiny shit.

Thaddeous Rutkowski
Great, funny. Good performer. Vonnegut said respect your audience. He has it memorized and wins. “ceremonial head dress” he says he wants one.

Wow, raw observations are scathing, “I apologize, in advance.” Meanness sucks, really.

The next post will cover Cookshop, and Itty Titty the night and film. Oh and the NU YU spa which by the way rocks!