1. If you’re anywhere near New York this Sunday, drop by the Bowery Poetry Club for a David Amram jazz poetry event titled Ode to the Sidewalks of New York. David Amram is, in my opinion, a national treasure. He used to improvise with Jack Kerouac, and it’s a telling fact that Amram speaks of Kerouac as his greatest influence and inspiration even though his other musical partners over the years have included the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie and Bob Dylan. But I don’t love a David Amram jazz poetry jam just for the awesome sense of history; I love it because Amram still makes the ebony and ivory jump like nobody else. When he’s not playing piano, he’s likely to be playing a solo duet with two flutes (each somehow producing a different melody from its designated side of his mouth), or banging on exotic drums, or inviting poets from the crowd to jump onstage to jam. Maybe he’ll even pull out his french horn.
2. Am I imagining things or did the New York Times review a self-published iUniverse book this morning? WHAT THE FUCK?!? I think this is really great — I just can’t believe my eyes. I’m so impressed, I’ll even link to the article, which discusses two new biographies of the controversial early African-American comedian Stephen Fetchit. I don’t normally link to Times articles because I don’t like linking to sites that require registration — however, I’ll make exceptions on days when miracles occur.
3. Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking is being developed into a one-woman play. Jumping the shark? Maybe. A one-performer play can be a trial to sit through even when the subject is not old age, disease and death. I expect tears will flow, but I am not sure if ticket sales will flow.
4. The Metaxu Cafe, a new and highly fluid aggregator of litblogs from the creator of Chekhov’s Mistress, is breathing fresh air into the sometimes stuffy litblog scene. Only one question: if this is metaxu, what is xu?