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PLU Open Mic featuring Eugene Ostashevsky

PLU Open Mic featuring Eugene Ostashevsky

Pirates and parrots and puns were just some of the words of the PLU soirée on January 15, with wordsmith Eugene Ostashevsky as our fearless featured reader…

Round one

Raucous ruffians

Maître Zorro started the class with Brecht and his child-friendly reading of Robin Hood. Kelly might have had some excessive titles but gave a us a beautiful, bright-eyed rendition. Anna was a superb Creon (off of Antigone), Ania colour-bombed a Go-Pro commercial

We paint inside the air, online

Rene told a load of shit. Really. A lot of shit in a cup.

Eat your food once, fine

Twice, is disgusting

Dina improvised on FEAR, possibly brought on by Rene’s shit. DRNB brought some sparkle to our stage, and Elliot perfected his Bucowski accent, ‘Page 36’, ‘When I thought I had you in hand’, ( in reference to Dinos Christianopoulos), and ‘The Mother of the Baby’. Not, as Emily wrote, “Dinosaur. Bucowski.” (she’s a creative soul…) From the dissolution of political landscapes to the deconstruction of semantics, we welcomed onstage the writer Eugene Ostashevsky, with his cacophony of pirates and parrots… More than clever, more than just entertaining, Eugene’s poetry plays with words, twisting rhythm, rhyme and semantics into a fun and unique performance. Writing some of my favourite lines down is frustrating, because his work finds its magic in the ensemble, a poetic jigsaw. So I’ll just take this snippet…

The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi

“What a beautiful song,” said the pirate. “I wish I knew all the ship-names in it.”
“Shhh,” said the parrot, “We’ll look ‘em up later.”
“Later when?” asked the pirate.
“When this book is over,” said the parrot.
The pirate fell into deep thought.
“Will we exist when this book is over?” he suddenly asked.
“If it’s a good book,” said the parrot.

Round two

In the beginning was the Pun

Marina fell into a cemetery and found herself the only poet at the party, Eugene couldn’t stay away and read from DJ Spinoza, featuring the Chanson de Roland and the unforgettable Peepeesauras. Moe had some Moe Poems, surging upstream in B minor from the grass root, and Jason donned his white lily in the search for blue eyes and pearl skin. Emily got her rhyme on with the Miserable Maid of Saint Wifflestaffs, and Ed went from Manchester to Inverness with a suitcase full of sadness he wishes were fiction. Virgin Daniel (poor Linda) went a cursin’ and drinkin’, Michel showed the Brazilian support for Charlie, and Megan closed our evening

You remember too much, my mother said

Luckily, after Jason bought shots for everyone, not many of us remembered the end of the evening…

Eugene Ostashevsky is barely eleven when, in 1979, he leaves his home of Leningrad with his family and, as part of that period’s great Jewish exodus, shortly before the Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan, immigrates to the USA. America becomes his second homeland and American English his second language. He grows up bilingually and becomes all the more sensitive to the gap between individual languages and their relationship to the world. As the owner of two languages, every language from now on seems to be a highly unusual, since artistic construction.

Repeatedly, he experiences with his own body what happens when one language “upsets” the other and he develops from this experience a fine intuition for the ludicrous aspect of linguistic incommensurability, upon which the fundamental impetus of the word games of his poems are based…

Thursday January 15, 2015, at Culture Rapide, Belleville.

Signup starts at 8, we get going around 8.30pm

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