Poetry Reading 9/13/12 - Filip Marinovich & Judith Malina

Poetry Reading 9/13/12 - Filip Marinovich & Judith Malina

Postby NYC_Correspondent-tm » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:06 pm

The latest addition to the Contemporary Poets series at the Dia: Chelsea, organized/curated by poet and author Vincent Katz with Dia curator Yasmil Raymond, is predicated on bringing together two contemporary poets of contrasting generations. Although both poets are considered contemporary, and therefore age and life experience differences may or may not be severe, the poets selected for the program on September 13th, Filip Marinovic and Judith Malina, highlighted some sharp differences in style, tone and craft, even though both shared common themes of political defiance, and a longing for social justice.

Malina is the elder of the two. The daughter of a rabbi, born in Germany in 1926, she is known internationally as a poet, film star, political activist, anarchist, and the original proprietor of the radical and legendary The Living Theatre. Marinovich teaches at Columbia University, has published his poems in numerous journals and books, and was active, most notably as a librarian, at the initial Occupy Wall Street movement in Zuccotti Park.

Marinovich read first. His reading was a bit hyperactive, with heavy emphasis at particular moments that reflected spoken word readings in a particular rhythmic gait that many poets seem to employ out of habit rather than led by the material; he paused at times seemingly because there is a sense that a pause should fit in somewhere, even if it actually did not. Still, he delighted at moments, his voice booming and sliding, navigating phrases and textures of his more deftly conceived passages. His appearance magnified his performance; his hair was a bit ragged, with a moderately thick beard and glasses obscuring much of his face. He gesticulated often, pointedly at times, and stood throughout his reading.

As a side note, his clothes looked like they were out of a second-hand poets dumpster - shaggy and worn to fit his conception of his political justice themes rather than seeming a natural part of him. His female companion, however, was looking lovely and svelte. He would do better to let her dress him, even if his subject matter concentrated on themes of socio-economic inequity. Maybe he just has poor aesthetic, a quality that seemed to be common amongst the attendees. One could easily pick out that these were not the gallery opening goers from next door.

Digression aside, Marinovich's first reading raged on for an almost interminable fifteen to twenty minutes. Although the work was ambitious, it was overly dense, sprawling, and unfortunately, mostly a bore. The poem started off smartly enough with tight phrasing, drawing on sharply critical themes of existing as an American and what that means when an American travels outside of America. The work additionally drew on the themes of being a poet in the world, being an American poet, and most intimately, family - most often returning to an evolving interchange between a questioning son and his father. Marinovich referenced Greek mythological figures at particular times, seemingly to integrate particular images and themes into his more muscular modern terrain.

Although he took on the challenge to cohesively join so many parts covering such vast territory, Marinovich did not do himself any favors. He personalized interchanges between characters at times, and universalized political insight at others, but failed to join the two. Where was this son and father out in the world, as the international face? Where was the bond between the fleeing types of intense emotion he expressed. More distressing was Marinovich's tendency towards stretches of what seemed to be streaming consciousness without either aethestically or substantively tying the passages with the rest of the work. Other times, the work evaporated into clever wordplay, smug with itself, referring back to itself, but failing to transcend itself. The second and third pieces he read were more compact, and at times teetered into similar territory as the initial work, but were better balanced, stayed more focused and fired up the senses.

In contrast to Marinovich, Malina sat, slightly hunched, calmer, grounded, and present. Her vocal inflection was well-worn and warm. She opened with an anarchist poem relating to voting and its lack of usefulness. In contrast to Marinovich, Malina's work was concise, but not overly tight. Rather her imagery and words were rich, fluid and balanced. Malina also referenced Greek mythological figures, but did so economically. Overall, in contrast to seeming self-indulgent smugness of Marinovich at his worst, Malina spun crystalline stanzas while still embodying contemporary freshness. Her subject matter was also political and personal, but the political had more natural bite and the personal felt more intimate than Marinovich's work, and she ably intertwined the two themes.

After reading a few poems - notably shorter than Marinovich's, she slyly announced that although this was a poetry reading, that in the tradition of radical anarchy, she was going to finish her reading with some prose from her memoir. She then read through a section of which when she was a student at the New School, working as a waitress and auditioning for a scholarship.
The work, and Malina, were both bright, funny, warm and of a different defiant New York that existed outside the cloistered confines of academia that unfortunately Marinovich seems to embrace, in spite of his politics.
He would do well to discipline his work, but free his spirit and learn some lessons from Malina. I still look forward to seeing what they each do next.
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Re: Poetry Reading 9/13/12 Filip Marinovich & Judith Malina

Postby Filip Marinovich » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:06 pm

http://electiveaffinitiesusa.blogspot.c ... ovich.html

To the anonymous coward fashion reviewer,
above there is a link to the text of the poem I read that night, in case you want to read it instead of pontificating, writing a fashion review at a poetry reading,
and insulting me and my wife, you imbecile.
You know nothing about poetry and are a conformist condescending classist SNOB.
Filip Marinovich
Filip Marinovich

Re: Poetry Reading- Filip Marinovich & Judith Malina

Postby CAP » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:29 am

Remember Fil, "There's no such thing as a bad review"... ;)
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