Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > The Fool

The Fool by Stephen Parlato
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really liked it
bookshelves: art, poetry

HHmm.. Having been a part of the Baltimore punk scene from, let's say, 1977 on, I can safely say that Tom Diventi was a central figure. In the mid '70s he & Billy Moriarty gave some of the more interesting poetry performances. There was one where Bill was in a giant bird cage, one where Tom continually inhaled spray oven cleaner [not recommended] while reciting. In 1977, Bill & Tom & 1 or 2 other guys formed one of B-More's earliest punk bands, "Da Moronics". Bill was one of my favorite Baltimore painters. Da Moronics had great raw humor, Bill got sick of being the singer b/c when they'd play people thought it was ok to throw whole pitchers of beer at him. Tom founded the Apathy Project, a place where much of the more interesting things of the time happened. He eventually founded Apathy Press, a deliberate misnomer making fun of how apathetic people cd be. This might not've really been an Apathy bk (there's no ID on it) but it might as well be.

There were maybe 3 main poetry scenes in B-More that I was aware of: the punkish scene heavily inspired by Bukowski & the Beats, the more intellectual scene that was into sound poetry & 'language writing', & the more 'ordinary' poets. Most of us were friends. Tom always had a very raw caustic way about him, I reckon he was concerned w/ what he saw as 'truth' - he made alotof enemies (& alotof friends) but, then, so did I.

Steve was a painter who came out of the MD Inst of Art. I mostly hated that school & didn't like the painting that came from there much - including Stephen's. On the other other, Stephen was a notch more bombastic than most of the others & that gave him that extra edge. Looking at his images now, I like them much more than I anticipated - they remind me of Bill's paintings. There's a guy w/ a hard-on watching TV, a guy watching TV while a woman on the bed next to him gives birth, a head on a table, people being executed. There's something about these images that intuitively sums up what many of us felt at the time - life goes on but how many people even bother to notice anymore?

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 19, 2008 – Shelved
April 19, 2008 – Shelved as: art
April 19, 2008 – Shelved as: poetry

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