Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Oob MONOLOGUES

Oob MONOLOGUES by Cris Cheek
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really liked it
bookshelves: poetry

It's exciting for me to enter bks like this into the internet database. cris cheek (who prefers his name written as I've written it here) is one of the most interesting poets for me. "Oob MONOLOGUES" means Out-of-Body Monologues". Thanks to the hospitality & cultural energy of the Merzaum Collective, cris (usually in London) lived in Baltimore for a few mnths in 1979 or thereabouts. patty lived there at the time too. patty & cris were lovers. patty co-ran Widemouth Tapes w/ me for a little while after Chris Mason handed it over to us in 1981. The one tape she chose to produce herself was entitled "Laughingstock". On it cheek performs this Out-of-Body monologue. It's wonderful. cris brings a richness of presentation to it that only the best of sound poets are capable of. From "the speech of the enfield poltergeist":

"I'm not a heaven man. Lawless carriages able bodies. not many. not and. also, not much."

cris manages to pull off combining a paranormal experience w/ 'language writing' that makes it dramatic w/o relying on conventional narrative tension-building devices. He takes phrases w/o obvious dramatic content & intones them in a way that gives them that tension anyway & its the combination of these superficially conflicting elements that makes the work so exciting for me. Another excerpt:

"aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh! (gruff) (shrieking down from a high pitch) logging. logging. a handle pulls away. and blue, starts, (cough) lucky i've got what i need. savage matter. speak, up, speak, up. lettuce belongs here. (eats lettuce leaf noisily, or explains
the lack of such)"

The text, as presented in bk form, doesn't have the total presence that the recording does - after all, it's meant to be a performance - but it still gets the idea across well.

patty's poem, wch begins the bk, seems more directly concerning a relationship - perhaps hers w/ cris. It begins:

"i don't know whyy

it should be , but it
is the case. under your

make-up :- trying to make up
your mind is liquid there

behind the back
erasing whatever intent.

do we have a relationship?"

The 2 poems together in one bk mark a bubble of emotional time that still resonates for me 27 yrs later. Of course, that's a personal matter but I think it works beyond that too.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 4, 2008 – Shelved
April 4, 2008 – Shelved as: poetry

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