The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Poetry and poverty

‘ A narrow flight of stairs through the back entrance of 311 Glendale Blvd. in Los Angeles descended into a basement-like space called the L’KEG (Lipstick Kissed Elbow Glove) Gallery.

Jazz played in the background as about 15 people slowly filled the foldout chairs. Seven of them read poetry at ‘Second Sunday Poetry Party’ amidst the ‘Can’t Pay the Rent’ exhibit at the gallery near Echo Park.
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‘It’s wonderful to have a captive audience,’ said Scott Kaestner, the event host, who also read a few lines such as, ‘Ignorance is bliss if you’re stupid’ and ‘Some people pop a Prozac or perhaps go to therapy. Instead, I write poetry.’
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Slowly and with a soft voice, Gabrielle Mittelbach read two poems full of imagery. In ‘How to Prevent Disconnect,’ she compared her neighbor’s gargling to a circling helicopter.
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Sound descriptions from a buzzing fly to chairs sliding on linoleum led to two people ‘quiet, like pillows.’ She said, ‘No yelling tonight, no yelling. Listen, a clock ticks. Listen, you’ll miss it if you don’t listen. Like your own heartbeat, it is so easy to detach, so much easier to be asleep.’
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Some read single-sentence poems such as the ‘Cave Life,’ by Anthony Anzalone, ‘Early man would hit things to make sound before language was invented.’ Another one he read was ‘The Approach Used to Make Friends.’ Anzalone yelled, ‘Stare, stare, stare-don’t speak, and sweat a lot!’
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Rich Warner encouraged audience participation and got a few laughs as people repeated his gibberish. ‘Flee, flee fly, flee fly flom, kumba lata, kumba lata vistay.’
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With a southern accent and a mean glare in his eye, Joe Camhi recited a rather dark poem about confronting the father of a dead woman. ‘I pointed my gun and started to speak.’ The father responded, ‘Laughing at death as if life was a joke. I’ll tell you the story you shoot you’ll be sorry.’
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Others who read included Beth Cheng and Neil Wax. ‘I wrote seven words of this in November and the rest today,’ Wax said.
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A Woody Allen quote was sprayed on one wall. ‘Money is better than poverty if only for financial reasons.’
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Crumpled-up newspapers and wire fencing inlaid the room where 28 photographs from internationally-based artists occupied the brown walls. Among them, ‘The Fat Pink Duke,’ a close-up of a pig with one blue one brown eye by Christian Fossati, priced at $100.
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A man lay curled up on the floor next to his scattered belongings while a dog lay on the bed in another photo, titled ‘Lost’ by Erik Neufurth.

Walt Gorecki, 25, co-owner, creative director said the exhibit reflects what is going on in the art world due to recession.’ Next to the photographs, one posting taken directly from a blog read: ‘While art has started to show more promise, like many, I unfortunately have been hit by the big slowdown. With less assisting and additional work in the last few months than I need, I find myself a few days away from an eviction process.’
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Although more and more photographers have been forced to set up their own sales to pay the rent, the slow market is good for art, Gorecki said. ‘It forces people back into their own internal creativity. If you look at strong growth periods in art, it’s been in times of political or financial struggle.’

The exhibit was presented by curator and online gallery La Pura Vida, will run until March 27, $5 at the door.
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On second Sunday of every month, L’KEG will hold open-mike poetry nights. ‘Except we’re poets and we’re wacky. The next one’s going to be on the first Sunday,’ Kaestner said.’

Recipe for Me

by Gabrielle Mittelbach’

In order to make me, you need

a moon pebble like the one

I keep in my pocket. You might

ask my mother what she coveted

in August 1966 because there is

a pinch of it in me. Whatever it was,

even if it was only lint, is

a necessary ingredient.’

Be careful, only twenty drops of

grandma’mdash;no more, no less or

else I will not rise. Cut

off the fat and excess and separate me

into triangles, then knead me back

into myself again. Add the

guilt of my father and whip until

I show soft peaks.

As thinly as possible, spread me

over an acre of wild terrain. If

the deer don’t come to me at dusk,

add a heaping handful of rosemary

to the mix. If the waters don’t rise

to me, dig a ditch and add sulfur.’

If you have done everything right,

glow worms should start to appear

in the nearby trees on moonlit nights

and the moon will reflect on the water

and you will remember that and take it

with you when you leave.

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