Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 30: Penny L.P.

  The final day of National Poetry Month!  What a wild, strange, beautiful trip it has been, recording and releasing a poem each day.  Since I began this process of posting a poem a day for a month on April 1, I always knew which of my poems I would record and release on the last day.  For over a decade, I directed marathon performances of James Joyce's novel Ulysses, usually performing the last three hours of Molly Bloom's monologue broadcast live nationally on the radio for the Pacifica Radio Network.  Ulysses has been my sacred text for most of my adult life.

This poem below is my contemporary American rewrite of the last few pages of Ulysses, which in the original are, of course, the Molly Bloom monologue.  The American Molly is Penny, a Brooklyn transport chasing the artist's life.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 29: Radio Daze

The penultimate poem for National poetry month.  A slice of life, shall we say.  Although I no longer record in my bathroom that was my first home studio in the middle of Manhattan.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 28: The Sandpiper

Ten years ago this December, my friend Mara McEwin  and I produced my verse play The Sandpiper which we both also performed in at the Thalia theater in New York City.  Inspired by the bird plays of Chekhov (The Sea Gull), Ibsen (The Wild Duck) and Strindberg (The Pelican), it is a play about three generations of Irish artists and the challenges of choosing an artistic life.

I met Mara my first week in New York City when we both auditioned for a children's play at The Grove Street Playhouse in the West Village.  Hilariously, we both got the role.  She played the princess.  I was the chicken and the marvelous photographer Mercedes McAndrew was cast as the horse.  For all three of us, it was the first New York City play we ever performed in. Today is Mara's birthday and so I am posting this monologue from The Sandpiper to remind her of one of the many wild, wooly, and wonderful nights we experienced together in NYC.  

This scene takes place between Johnny, a young actor and Neal, an experienced New York director. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 27: A History of Orange Juice

To all the oranges I've loved before.  And there's been many...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 26: Vela Shtern

It is a truly powerful work of art that inspires its audience to create.  I love conversations between artists spanning days or generations or even millenia as seen through their works.  This poem I wrote after spending an evening at the Anton Kern Gallery looking at the spectacular paintings of Ellen Berkenblit.  It was like walking into the diary of a New York City artist party girl that spanned at least a hundred years.  I named her Vela Shtern.  You will see some images of Ellen's electric paintings in the poem video below.  You can also buy the art book of these paintings here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 24: Seamus is Dead, Mick

Today's poem is about the death of the great Irish lion, Seamus Heaney, whose poetry threads through my own childhood memories, read to me by my father, mostly.  I hosted an hour long radio show In His Own Words:  A Memorial Tribute about Heaney's life and work the following Sunday.  You can listen to that WBAI broadcast here. 

Meanwhile, Seamus is Dead, Mick...