Februa

Februa

Collective unconscious memories of ancient February festivals —helped by Ovid’s Fastis. This piece is part of the Calendar Series.

Februa
(February/Fevrier)


play song

Februa, Februa
Carnival, blood, goat, dog
Don’t pan-ic
She no she wolf
He no he god

Februa, Februa
It’s a stick, it’s a laugh

She could be your mother
Bringing flowers
To your boundaries


Musicians: Benjamin Chadabe, percussions & Anne Githler, flutes
Text & collages: N.P

“The Hopeless Poem” now in English!

“The Hopeless Poem” now in English!


BioBois
#6 ©Nicole Peyrafitte

While I was in France this summer I posted a new poem in French called “L’Espoir Tue”. A couple of weeks ago, while sharing pierogies and carrot cake at the Stage Dinner in the East Village with our dear friend Stash, the conversation came about *hope* & I told him about my poem. Though we still disagree about hope, Stash was willing to help translate it into English. Stash Luczkiw is a journalist/editor for Cartier Magazine and a poet originally from New York who has been in leaving in Milan for over 10 years.

Hope Kills

(after an article by Dr. Fogarty)

Hope is an inescapable and very hard-to-cure disease
Hope is a mirror that offers a blurry and idealized reflection of my desires
Hope—like daylilies—invades and depletes my essential resources for sustainable growth
Hope is a toxic fantasy of the future
Hope fills the necessary voids with synthetic satisfaction
Hope prevents neither death nor suffering
Hope could be
should be
maybe will be
but is not

And oh, yes! Hope inspires calm
it promises abundance to the rich as well as to the poor

Without hope the love of happiness detaches itself
to make way for an inevitable and uncomfortable reality

But it is there
stripped of all artifice
without prestige
without seduction
without escape—
and with much less consumption
that the quest begins
&
Life opens

Nicole Peyrafitte
Original Title in French : L’Espoir Tue
Assistance to English Translation: Stash Luczkiw

January 1st 2009, An Neuf!

January 1st 2009, An Neuf!

As planned, Pierre Joris, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and I spent January 1st at the St Mark’s Poetry Project‘s 35th Annual New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon. We got there at about 1:30 p.m. to set up my “Crêpes station” in the Parish Hall. I flipped crêpes until I run out of batter at about 6 p.m. That gave me time to catch some poetry. Ron Padgett had kicked off the event at around 2:30 p.m. I left my set up to listen to Pierre, he read two poems from “Turbulence” (Saint Lazaire Press, 1991). Shortly after, Miles accompanied me on “Things Fall Where they Lie” a piece (recorded on La Garbure Transcontinentale/The Bi-Continental Chowder CD) dedicated to the Venus of Lespugue, and written as a companion piece to a series of paintings on the Venus de Lespugue.

Performing with Miles was certainly my highlight of the day, and we made it on to the radio the next day! Lisa Chow, a reporter from WNYC –and excellent French speaker– had stopped by the crêpes station, and interviewed me. You can read the short printed interview here. Although we didn’t hear the broadcast of the snippet of our performance on early Friday morning, it was great to hear from friends who did and for you there is the full live recording (by Pierre Joris) below:



When I finally ran out of batter, I could sit down, listen to and watch some great performances. I’ll just report “en vrac” some of the impressions as my memory runs them:
I laughed at the witty and hilarious Swallow’s family band
I keep thinking of Erica Hunt’s pigs’ knuckles poem
I need to talk to Anne Tardos about her idea of Spinoza
I still feel Sally Silver’s dance on Bruce Andrews’ words in my body
I look up to John Giorno’s elegance and performing style
I thought Patty’s Smith performance was better than last year’s
Avram Fefer’s solo was soulful
Anne Waldman’s performance with Devin Waldman on saxophone electrified and inspired me
I was looking forward to Douglas’ outfit and was not disappointed
Ismael, Sylvie, Lucas watched their parental poets, thinking : we are next!
Stacy Szymaszek, and the Poetry Project crew of volunteers energized me.
& throughout the event everybody was thinking of Susan, Charles, Felix and Emma:
Emma Bernstein’s recent passing permeated the atmosphere, and several readers dedicated their performance to her memory. Emma’s beautiful and soulful funeral service was held on January 31st. She was the daughter of our friends, poet Charles Bernstein & painter Susan Bee & the sister of young singer Felix Bernstein. She was a very accomplished photographer and writer who at her young age leaves a significant body of work (click here for links for Emma). There will be an memorial event on February 17th when Emma had been scheduled to host one of the Belladonna* Celebrates the Elders events. I will announce the details as we get closer to the date.

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