Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nada lost; thank you, Dada; Kat Georges; Allison Joseph

Nothing is ever lost. The fact impresses on me more and more.

Last night while walking on Bleecker from the 6 train to the Cornelia St. Cafe, I decided I would sing a poem onstage. I was on my way to Kat Georges' 3rd annual dADa reading. Ms. Georges not only organizes the event—with featured sideshow acts, an appreciated feat on a night of foreign adventure—she publishes an accompanying journal through the offices of her Three Rooms Press.

MaiNteNant. Over 50 pages of purposefully meaningless echoes of arguments in favor of insanity. This year's journal included my poem "Ahead."

So, okay. My previous posting here was on my short story "The Devil Is Her Friend" which labored over twenty years to get in print (see issue #2, "Ahead" is not similar in scope and effort, but there is a parallel. I wrote version #1 of the poem fifteen years or so ago.

It was short and not quite there. Then in late 2009 poet, professor, supporter of poets, poetry ringmistress, Allison Joseph ( announced a triolet contest (triolets are one of the interlocked, rhyming, repeating forms). I don't write formal verse, in part because I don't think my brain is up to it, but the contest was free and I rose high as I could to the occasion.

"Ahead" turned into a triolet. The reincarnated poem was rejected, fine, that's part of the submission and, sometimes, writing process. Then a few months later, Kat Georges put out a DaDA call and holy cow.

In the spirit of Dada so-driven by furious frivolous intellect I conceived of the grand idea, as I walked Bleecker, to sing the poem. The crowd liked it but even better, I liked my improvised tune.

Here's "Ahead": the final (a triolet—or such was my hope) and the fragment from fifteen years ago


Dragged by lessons strapped to your waist
a snakeskin belt Bad Angel snatched

You long for light, a slower pace.
dragged by lessons strapped to your waist,

lessons you feared you couldn't face.
Could be grief only seems attached,

dragged by lessons strapped to your waist
that snakeskin belt Bad Angel snatched.


dragged by lessons strapped to your waist
like the snakeskin belt the bad angel snatched

you reach for anything willing to join you in
the blaze you become anything

Nothing is lost. It all can be used or reinvented.

*MaiNtEnaNt is published by Kat Georges' Three Room Press (, New York, NY. Last night's Dada event at the Cornelia Street Cafe was helped along by the lovely Peter Carloftes, poet and comic.


  1. When I first read the title "Nada lost" I thought you were talking about a female poet friend of mine who also lives in NYC! Especially when I discovered it actually was about the poetry scene. Ever come across her, Nada I mean (assuming she's not lost)? Anyway, I like your stuff and as soon as I can work out how to recommend blogs (I'm late on the blogging tip) on mine, I will. Congrats on your story publication! x Diana (66witches)

  2. 66witches: I would imagine I know who you mean. Thanks for commenting. This blogging thing takes time to learn.