Kenward Elmslie is one of the original New York School poets. Now in his late 70s Elmslie continues to publish, and even to perform. His most recent performance is in an off-Broadway musical that he's written entitled Lingo Land which will open on February 7, 2005 at NYC's York Theatre. He's doing an eight-hour rehearsal every day before it opens. Lingo Land has a six-week run, and will be open every night except Tuesday and Sunday at 8 pm. Tickets are $55, but if you call on the day of the performance at 212-868-4444 you can get student tickets for $20 if you are a student or can pass for one. You can also get tickets at the theatre itself (see their web page).
Elmslie is a fabulous performer. If you've never seen him live, then you simply must do so. He's the oddest act you will never see if you don't go to see this show -- an amazing intrusion of honest to goodness NY School poetry into the musical format. He often wears bizarre costumes, and when you leave the theatre you'll be singing along to his odd lyrics in the back of your mind for decades to come. There will be music by Ned Rorem and others and there will be projected paintings by Red Grooms, Joe Brainerd, Alex Katz, and other friends of Kenward. Blue state culture doesn't get any bluer. Don't miss it. York Theatre is at 619 Lexington Ave. 54th Street is the cross-street.
ELEGY FOR LOOSHA
Ambidextrous eliminators, langorous Elvises,
get roughed up bad by soused chimpanzees
notating your daily round. Like me, all Elvises
are riveted by visceral effluvia: human ashes
sifting down from a huggable blue bowl --
zenith of a prairie sky.
A recurrent street screech exacerbates my stage-fright
at windows of, building opposite -- starer-outers,
lotus-eaters flogging their dot.com wounds.
Dead skin spin-offs flake onto a wondrous panoply,
similar to my dreams of a fertile nation
of miscreant beloveds who can replicate,
post-impact, Vanilla Conga, back aways
a flame dance, so they say.