Shattered Wig #28

Shattered Wig #28
Coming In November!

Friday, August 27, 2010

City Sages Reading at Normal's, Wed. August 25th

On Wednesday, August 25th, Normal's took its turn celebrating CityLit's first publication - City Sages: Baltimore. The book came out a few months ago, but we wanted to wait until the new improved Red Room was done being spiffied up.

On hand to read were Michael Kimball, Susan McCallum-Smith, Joseph Young and myself. Plus Goodloe Byron to sing a few graveyard tunes and to ruminate on Poe's "The Black Cat" which appears in the anthology of legendary dead Baltimore writers, living ascending stars and those of us thrashing in literary limbo.

Jen Michalski who edited the book emceed the reading.

Goodloe Byron, author of The Abstract and Revisions Of bookended the readings with two songs of darkness.

Susan McCallum-Smith whose collecton of short stories Slipping The Moorings was published by Entasis Press in 2009 read from her piece "High Rise".

Professor Joseph Young, author of the wildly popular Easter Bunny assures the crowd that there is no improvisation involved in his reading, displaying to the audience his text.

Goodloe Byron started out doing a straight reading of Poe's story, but ended up having a conversaton with it.

Michael Kimball, whose novel Dear Everybody was excerpted in City Sages, said he'd been reading from that novel for three years and that this evening would be his last time doing so. He then read portions of an unnamed novel in progress he's currently working on, correcting typos with his pen as he did so. The strange blue around his right eye was not administered for theatrical effect for his engagement at The Red Room, but was caused somehow when I used the "Red Eye" feature in my photo library.


  1. this may not be an appropriate comment but i cannot find out how to contact rupert on facebook or email or anything-

    i like shattered wig- but i had written sort of a complaint because- as a leftist- i have a big problem w mystification in american poetry- all the new yorker magazine and john ashbery stuff- i know shattered wig is more irreverent and playful than that- but i do feel we need meaning a la bert brecht also

    the komissar has ordered chris toll, blaster al and rupert w
    to report to the md state fair cotton candy, no corn dogs, no piggee races!
    you are to write soviet realism type (sic) pomes
    on the tractor pull event

    best, dave e, undersecretary to the under komissar

    the kmissar has asked me to post an example:

    we had a good yield in north baltimore county:
    300 hectares green beans, 100 hectares sensual peaches (last bit redacted)

  2. Yes, David, this was a real inappropriate way to write this tiresome message. There is righteous "political" anger in the writing of Blaster Al, Batworth, Chris Toll, myself and many others in Shattered Wig - in my opinion - but I look for writing that merges both sides of the brain. If I want history and politics I read Chomsky or Zinn or whoever, poetry can feed many different parts of the body and brain and needs to. I guess, though, that since you felt compelled to write this here and on Chris Toll's Facebook page that you think Shattered Wig is reaching folks or has some pull. So that's a compliment, but I feel your time would be better spent writing letters to the City Paper and New York Times. And if you want to assault other presses there are many, even here in town, far far more oblique than the Wig.