Just wanted to put up a brief note to alert all Bay Area readers of the Grotto to an event I’m involved in…
You are invited to spend an evening at one of SF’s coolest recent additions to the performance scene, in recognition of the release of my new poetry chapbook, JAZZBO WIND, published by Kendra Steiner Editions of San Antonio.
March 31st at 8-11pm, at
998 Valencia Street (at 21st, next to Artists Television Access)
San Francisco, CA.
Joining yours truly, and reading selections of their own work, will be these other fine local wordsmiths…
(and perhaps one or two special guests)
A five buck donation is requested, but no one necessarily turned away for lack thereof.
There will be music between readings, and books for sale.
So: Be there or be square, as they say, as it’s sure to be a HOWLing good time.
And now, some words from the publisher:
MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH
“JAZZBO WIND” (KSE #185)
$5.00 ppd. Anywhere
paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com
“KSE is proud to announce the publication of the sixth poetry chapbook (his fourth for KSE) by San Francisco’s MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “JAZZBO WIND” (KSE #185). Mr. Heath was one of the founding-fathers of punk-rock writing with his seminal VINTAGE VIOLENCE ‘zine, covering the under-rated Washington DC area scene in the late 70′s, and then moving into the early 80′s he was a fixture at other ‘zines of the day such as CAPITOL CRISIS and TRULY NEEDY. He’s been one of my favorite writers for 30+ years, and he was one of the first authors I approached to join the KSE family.
Michael moved to San Francisco in 1992 and began taking his work to new levels as he moved into poetry, a perfect fit as his writing always had the specificity and detail and metaphor needed for verse. With the musicality one would expect, a timelessly hip voice, a mastery of reference and allusion, and a gritty streetwise presence—along with a cynical wit and a unique ability to capture the delicious pain of longing and physical desire in a way that is neither cloying nor cliche-ridden—Michael’s poetry is a breath of fresh air in today’s phony poetry world of post-Bukowski losers and posers and pretentious academic pasticheurs.
Like Corso or Patti Smith, Heath often writes from a poet-finding-his/her-way-in-a-barren-world persona, on the hungry streets and in the seedy transient hotels of San Francisco, seeking transcendence through a cheap thrill, looking to score, looking to connect with a fellow member of the diaspora, his head full of ornate Nino Rota film soundtracks and trippy Jamaican dub, his stomach empty, his heart overflowing, paying for drinks with pocket change, selling his Kerouac books and Prince Far I albums to pay the overdue rent, wondering if that lanky, ponytailed, sandy-haired, jean-jacketed guy from the midwest at the other end of the bar notices him, and wondering how he can get busfare home…if indeed he goes home tonight.
Michael Layne Heath creates/evokes a rich sensory world in his poetry, and we readers share in the poet’s insights, fears, and small pleasures. He’s intimate without being confessional, and he always leaves a lot unsaid, so his work cries out for multiple readings and also begs to be read aloud and savored. JAZZBO WIND may be only an 8-page chapbook, but it’s got far more content and far more depth than most 300-page books.
Mr. Heath is, to me, one of the ten most essential poets writing in America today…no surprise that one of his earlier KSE chapbooks was listed as “one of the ten best reads of the year (2007)” in Arthur Magazine. This is a hand-assembled, hand-numbered edition of 67 copies, available for $5 postpaid ANYWHERE.
Get yours now…”
Next time: back to the usual unusualness.