Monday, June 4, 2018

A Slice of the Apple

Several years ago, I was hired as the photo editor and curator for an upcoming book, "A Slice of the Apple," which documented the downtown NYC poetry scene during a specific period, circa 2008-2012. The publisher was to be Spiny Babble Press. I had also had several poems accepted. As we worked on the book together, two of the three editors involved became ill and passed away. The third developed heart problems and underwent a triple bypass. (None of the three were elderly, as a point of information.) The project was put on hold indefinitely but is now being revisited. Below is the artist's statement that I was asked to submit, and a selection of my photographs and photographs that I curated.

Artist’s Statement
       Puma Perl

I began documenting the poetry scene for the same reasons that I crossed over from the written word to the spoken word to the performance piece: immediacy. Capturing the moment, the impulse, unexpected, the unplanned. The sound of an audience shocked into silence, or bursting into spontaneous applause.  Somebody crying. Maybe the performer, his or herself.

It’s two artists who have never met before reading one another’s work, or creating a collaborative dance that will never again be

It’s a poet throwing away the poems and, fighting back tears, telling a story about her life.

It’s losing your place and improvising a much better piece, which you will never remember.

It’s the brilliant artist who disappears.

It’s my performance partner cutting off my clothes while I read and suddenly chopping off a hunk of my hair.

People often ask us why we do it. There are stock answers, but the best one, to me, is the only alternative is NOT to do it. Do. Or not do.
That’s it.

I hope these photos, created by Jodi Lynn Concepcion, Stas Pix Nuke, and myself, bring a chaos mixed with passion. Enter the moment.

Big Mike, Puma Perl, founders of DDAY Productions, in front of Bowery Poetry Club, pre-renovation, Jodi Lynn Concepcion, 2010

     Brant Lyon, RIP, founding editor, Battery Park, Make Music New York, 
                                                       Puma Perl, 2009

Bob Hart, Bowery Poetry Club, Jodi Lynn Concepcion, 2011

           Amy Uzi, Backstage at Bowery Poetry Club's New Years Day 
                            Alternative Marathon, Puma Perl, 2011

Aimee Herman, Bowery Poetry Club, Stas Pix, 2011

Kat Georges, DADA party for Maintenant, Cornelia Street Cafe,                                      Puma Perl, 2011

ABC No Rio, pre-renovation, Puma Perl, 2012

         Frank Simone, Editor, RIP, JuJoMakti Tea Lounge, Puma Perl, 2012

                      Liza Wolsky, Bowery Poetry Club, Stas Pix, 2011
                     Poets George Wallace and Rob Plath, Mars Bar following  
                                "The Beat Poetry Hour," Puma Perl, 2009

Professor Steve Cannon, founder of Tribes, Poets House, Puma Perl, 2012

The Poetry Brothel, First Annual NY Poetry Festival, Governor's Island, 
                                                   Puma Perl, 2010

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