Thursday, July 22, 2010
D.C. Day 2
The trip rolls on, and I can scratch two more writers off my list. The photo above is from Adam Good's apartment: his next piece in progress. Adam's recent work has been about generating "new potential truths" through improvised remixes of existing texts — a rather fanciful pursuit, but certainly entertaining in practice. His selections for today's reading included shuffled fragments of books by Rod Smith and Rosmarie Waldrop, as well as a book on cognitive science.
Adam's apartment is in a neighborhood in the beginning stages of gentrification, but Latin American culture still dominates heavily. Taquerías and bodegas (and many, many liquor stores) line 14th St. in North D.C., and I heard a kid on the street refer to the neighborhood as "the 1-4." We forewent Mexican food, however, in favor of the air conditioning at a thin-crust pizza place. We shared a sausage-and-pepper pie, and it was good.
And my first interview of the day was with Maureen Thorson, a federal customs attorney by day and poet by night. We talked about her recent use of the genre tropes of sea shanties, and I discovered that she's one of the few other people I've met who likes archy and mehitabel. Maureen gave me a beautiful little chap called Epithalamion, which is an erasure of the Spenser poem of the same name (à la Jen Bervin's Nets). I have a pretty serious fascination with the original, so this too was a happy coincidence.
When the work day was done, I had dinner at a Thai restaurant with my uncle and his family. The AFI theater was right around the corner, so I stopped by after to see a newly restored print of Godard's Breathless. Man oh man, is that movie funny. And there were only 15 people in the audience, which added a distinct charm to the occasion. Afterward, I overheard a well-dressed guy saying to his teenage daughter, "Really? You followed the whole thing without subtitles? That's great!"
I have two or three more interviews downtown tomorrow, and at 8:00 p.m. I'll be catching an overnight bus to Athens, Georgia. It'll be my first overnighter, and it should be a good measure of the discomfort level I can expect from the rest of the trip. Fingers crossed, etc.
Still rested and lucid,