Gone but not forgotten. You could say that about the readings at the Literary Café, as cliché as it is. But remember, there were readings in the 90’s way before Nick and I got it into our soft craniums to do it ourselves. And we promised that there will still be readings, just irregular (as if the readings were ever regular). That is irregularly scheduled. So there are readings, but not necessarily poetry, just like in the early day of ancient tape recordings. Back in those ancient days of irregular readings at the Lit Café, there was a giant that shared his early writings regularly in an irregular manner. He has been gone, but definitely not forgotten. He is back and reading from his near ancestor this Saturday April 17 at 9:00pm. This inspiration for local writers is none other than Michael DeCapite.
Mike is celebrating the reprinting of his recently gone but not forgotten father, Raymond DeCapite’s two novels, A Lost King and The Coming of Fabrizze, by Kent State’s Black Squirrel Press. Also accompanying him is Dennis Dooley, an author, former Public Radio broadcaster and journalist and winner of the 1986 Cleveland Arts prize in Literature. Dennis will provide some historical context for Ray's republished work, while Mike reads excerpts of his father’s books. Maybe we can get him to read some of his own writing as well. It is all of the finest quality.
Since Mike has lived in New York for a good part of the last decade, you Tremont newbies may not be aware of the accomplishments of this southside son. His first novel, Through the Windshield, was written in London and New York from 1985 to 1990. Although the book gained a small underground reputation by way of published excerpts, readings, and word of mouth, it was unable to find a publisher until it was brought out by Sparkle Street Books, in 1998. DeCapite's short story "Sitting Pretty" was published as a CUZ Edition in 1999 and then included in The Italian American Reader (William Morrow 2003, HarperCollins 2005). During 2003 and 2004, he wrote Radiant Fog, a column for the monthly Cleveland arts magazine Angle. In 2006, he completed a second novel, RUINED FOR LIFE!.
Raymond DeCapite was a fixture in Cleveland since his birth in 1924. He drew on his family and his community heritage as inspiration for his books. A graduate of Cleveland public schools, DeCapite received both his B.A. and M.A. from Western Reserve University, while working as a shipping clerk, a restaurant employee, a cashier, and a crane oiler. His published novels were The Coming of Fabrizze, A Lost King, Pat the Lion on the Head, Go Very Highly Trippingly To and Fro, and The Stretch Run. He wrote three plays: Sparky And Company, Things Left Standing, and Where The Trains Go. He was a recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohioana Award, and the Cleveland Critics' Circle Award. Ray passed in July 2009.
The Literary Café once again is the center of Cleveland’s literary world, past and present. With this celebration of one of our past writers by one of our present writers, we inspire our future writers. So come to hear genius Saturday, April 17 at 9:00pm. The Literary Café is located at 1031 Literary Road in the unforgettable Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. This reading is sponsored by Visible Voice Books, another Tremont monument.
This Thursday, I'm saying the hell with taxes and going to the Dolan Science Center at John Carroll Univ to listen to Paul Muldoon. In case you don't keep up, he's the guy that keeps sending me rejection notices from the New Yorker. TM Gottl did a nice job introducing him in her column on the Cleveland Examiner Should be a good time and some good poetry for a change without all the drama that occurs at poetry venues.
The show is at 7:30 Thursday April 15.
PS It is free as opposed to Mary Oliver's $30 reading tonight at Playhouse Square.
After I explained Haiku while slurping Ballantine at the Prosperity Social Club, man about town, John Corral, quickly jotted this three line gem on a cocktail napkin. You never can tell where or when you run into talent, lubricated by alcohol or not.
In front of mirror,
I want to tongue bathe my balls.
I look amazing.
It just doesn't seem natural unless I'm at the Literary Cafe on a Thursday night. This time I'm guest bartending from 8:30 to around 10:00 or whenever Linda and Andy get back from whatever they're doing. Joining me will be Neve Black, erotic writer extraordinaire. I'll try to get her to dance on the bar and you can stuff bills in her garter. I hope to give her the basis for a new story. Come see me spill beer and belch loudly. I'll be the one with the beret.
If there is anything I can't stand is no-shows for events that I sweat my ass off organizing. I don't mean attendees, but features, the stars of the party the show. I used to get disappointed, then miffed, then got angry, then went fucking bonkers (See the on-line rants about David (last minute apology for lazy shit) Hassler.)
So for the final poetry night, I had another no show. The biggest night we would ever have and this prick doesn't call, email, or anything. I had to respond. Worse off, I thought he was a friend. I should be more choosy. From Facebook wall exchange:
You how I feel about no-shows, mutherfucker!
Sat at 6:31pm
My bad Steve the weather was really bad and I was sick.
Sat at 6:34pm
weather was fine and you seem well enough for Oliver House, asshole.
Sun at 9:30pm
Alright Steve, you obviousely don't understand what's been wrong with me, and I don't need to explain it to you. Think whatever you want to think.
Yesterday at 9:06am
I know what's wrong with you. You're a fraud. You claim to be a professional poet, but no-shows is NOT professional. You think you were the only one unable to come. The difference is they called, wrote, sent a message to cancel and not hang me out to dry. You fucked me, asswipe. NO excuse, nothing to explain except admission that you're a lazy, whiny pussy. Definitely not a friend. You did it to me before with Blue and your "guarantee." You have no credibility at all and your word is isn't worth the puke I spilled into the toilet all week. BTW I still made it to the reading. That's what I think and until you prove otherwise, that is it.
2 seconds ago
Find him on FB and send him your opinion. Bottom line: DON'T FUCK WITH ME.
It’s hard to imagine that after four years of throwing poets together to get their versigroove on every month, every second Thursday, that Nick and I are throwing in the towel (albeit not a very clean towel). Yes, Friends, the institution of the Poetry Night at the Literary Café will be over this Thursday December 10 starting at 9:30pm. It has been a great dance, a tango in fact, that had us dipping and twirling with you, our local poets, poet lovers, and poetry lovers. We say thank you for all the love and support. And that relationship, like a marriage or a good regular booty call, is why I look at this like an amiable divorce, instead of a funeral.
For one, a funeral denotes finality, a brick wall that nothing passes except memories of the past. Like the sudden appearance of the Tremont Chicken, the surprising realization that both hosts wear boxers instead of briefs because they showed you, or a spontaneous opera concert. We have had poets drink their poems from a blender, wear trash bags for dresses, create sound tapestries of phone messages. We pulled poets from California, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, Kansas City, and even Toledo. We have had hip-hop, haiku, confessional, slam, strict form, objective, lyric, surreal, and just about every other genre of poetry. Yes memories that we kept record with video, and were probably the first to that in the country. Requests for how came from everywhere and help establish us as a national venue. Not bad for a couple drunks looking for a good time.
It was just too hard for us all to keep it going, to keep it at a level of excellence that was only due to the serendipitous meeting of so many factors. Time, responsibility, and creative resources change and so with a hug and a smile we finish the regular series like a divorce that has love intact, an occasional dinner or telephone call to stay in touch like good friends. And so is the Literary Café Poetry Night, a regular series no more, but the special dinners will happen. New poets come out of the woodwork all the time and many deserve the honor of being a Literary Café feature reader. Books are written and the authors should get a chance to show their work. The Lit Café is still there for them.
So come to the final evening, highlighted by the words of our previous features, the best of the best. There will be no time for open mic but maybe for a final free for all. It is a party of our memories, a celebration of Tremont’s creative magic. There will be razors and sledgehammers, so be prepared this Thursday night, December 10 at 9:30pm. The Literary Café is located at 1031 Literary Road in the not quite lugubrious Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.
Somehow Charlotte Mann got it into her Arkansas mind that I might make a good host for a promotional poetry reading for her book, Hotel Poem: Poets of Cleveland. Suzanne of Mac's Backs the sponsor of the event) should have stopped her. Anyway, I must of have been drinking, gone insane, dropped back into Texas-Arkansas brain with her, or something else when I accepted. In case you have not heard of it yet (sleeping under rocks again) Hotel Poem is a beautiful coffee-table book of portraits and poems of the area's new, old, and amazing poets. Of course, I'm in there (Not the cover, wiseguy. That's the lovely Carmen Tracey) and so will many of the book's subjects at the Barking Spider.
It will be a great chance to see (and buy)the book and since I know what kind of egomaniacs poets are, I'm sure you will be able to get them to sign their picture and/or poem. Think of it, a luxurious book of classy photos of word artists and with their real signatures all in one package! If a meteor falls on the 'Spider just as you pull away in your car and all of us are wiped out, you will make a killing on ebay!
So come on out this Saturday afternoon, December 5 at 3 PM at The Barking Spider 11310 Juniper Rd. (behind Arabica) on Case's campus. Get there early to find parking.
TM Gottl (where the hell is that umlaut key?) just posted a great article in The Examiner about the Literary Cafe poetry night and upcoming finale. Click thru and come to what will probably be a memorable night.
I'm reading as part of NeoSounds as on of the features in Cincinnati tomorrow night.
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