Tag Archives: bill mohr

Mike (The Poet) Sonksen reads from “Poetry Loves Poetry”

Sunday, February 11, 2018

In terms of anthologies of American poets, perhaps no other year in the past century marked the appearance of three distinctively influential volumes, In the American Tree, The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets, and Poetry Loves Poetry: An Anthology of Los Angeles Poets, all published in 1985. I was the editor and publisher of Poetry Loves Poetry, and I certainly appreciate the attention that Mike (The Poet) Sonksen gives to it in a recent video. In addition to a brief excerpt from my introductory essay, Sonksen reads the poems of several poets who were featured in that anthology: Lewis MacAdams; Michelle T. Clinton; Wanda Coleman; and Michael C. Ford. He also highlights the presence of poets such as Suzanne Lummis and Laurel Ann Bogen in my collection, both of whom were part of the poetry performance troupe, Nearly Fatal Women. In addition to Charles Bukowski, Ron Koertge, Nichola Manning, and Charles Harper Webb as representatives of an emerging “Stand Up” school of poets, other poets I included were James Krusoe, Peter Levitt, Leland Hickman, Holly Prado, Harry Northup, and Eloise Klein Healy, all of whom also appeared in my earlier anthology, The Street Inside: Ten Los Angeles Poets. This earlier collection tends to get pushed to the side, as do Paul Vangelisti’s incredibly important collections, Specimen ’73 and An Anthology of L.A. Poets. One cannot fully appreciate Poetry Loves Poetry, however, unless one is familiar with all three of these earlier surveys of various communities of Los Angeles poets. It is worth noting, of course, that poets as well-known as Bert Meyers and Henri Coulette do not appear in any of these collections. The definitive survey of poetry in Los Angeles between 1950 and 2000 has yet to be assembled.

Audri Phillips and “Robot Prayers”; “A Thought Has No Physicality”

Monday, September 20, 2017

I met the artist Audri Phillips well over a quarter-century ago, back when I was still living on Hill Street in Ocean Park. I myself was not a painter, but knew a group of painters who went around each other’s studios and critiqued each other’s work. Besides Audri, I remember that one of the artists was Richard Bruland, the former owner of BeBop Records. Audri eventually painted the image that went on my CD/cassette of spoken word, Vehemence, from New Alliance Records (1993), and I contributed to the poem that accompanied her first computer art project, “A Thought Has No Physicality” (1995). (Note: This can be found on vimeo, but my inclusion of the link in this blog post will not grant direct access to it; hence, my mere citation of this early work.)

Audri is still working as an artist, though she stopped working on canvas about a half-dozen years ago and now paints only on the computer. Linda and I attended one of her earliest full-length collaborations that included work painted on a computer in 2011. It was a theatrical event, “Migrations,” that she staged in a geodesic dome with some other musicians. There were moments in that event that were as full of soothing gracefulness as anything I have ever absorbed.

Audri is shutting down her studio in which she worked with paint and selling all of her canvases. As she concludes this part of her life, I wish to pass on to you a link to her most recent work, “Robot Prayers,” which I believe you will enjoy and savor enough that you will hope she can keep on working in this manner for decades to come.

www.robotprayers.com

https://www.flickr.com/photos/111721388@N06/

http://www.studioarts.com/bio_audri_phillips

Tribute by Bill Mohr to Bob Flanagan at Beyond Baroque

This video must have been shot at a memorial service for Bob Flanagan at Beyond Baroque, shortly after he died in 1996. The poem I read, “One Miracle,” was first published by Marvin Malone’s underappreciated magazine, WORMWOOD REVIEW (Vol. 36, number 2; issue 142). It subsequently was included in my collection of poems published by Brooks Roddan’s IF/SF publishing house, “BITTERSWEET KALEIDOSCOPE.” It was also translated into Spanish by Jose Luis Rico and appeared as “Un Milagor” in “Circulo de Poesia: Revista Electronica de Literatura” and in “PRUEBAS OCULTAS” (Bonobos Editores, 2015). “One Miracle” was also included as one of three poems in “WIDE AWAKE: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond,” edited by Suzanne Lummis (Pacific Coast Poetry Series: Beyond Baroque, Venice, 2015).