Tim Davis and Brenda Coultas Readings Reviewed by Jordan Davis
Poets in Review: Tim Davis and Brenda Coultas

By Jordan Davis

Not the opening reading (that was Tom Raworth and Ann Lauterbach) but the second, Tim Davis and Brenda Coultas at the shiny hospitable cafe at Here, 145 Avenue of the Americas, great glass windows looking out at the happy stragglers, looking in at one attentive group. Any fear that the vibe might get trampled in a not-for-profit zone is quelched by couches and a staff that not only acquiesces but acts apologetic when ambient irritations must be removed. Now on the other hand, the food is maybe only above decent, and the sense of being _at sea_ (unless you count the bateau-moucheness of the new digs) is just gone. And the beer is too much. Brenda Coultas is too much. After a fine introduction by Rob Fitterman she read work from her first (totally great) collection, _Early Films_, and she read some new work which takes her early themes of meat, sex, animals, body parts, depravity and tenderness to a new pleasant intensity. She has a light touch. It represents Indiana. (Random comparison to Andy Levy?) There is something waldmanische (naturally, she danced and wrote at Naropa) about Coultas's work, but enough names. Tim Davis got up after a decent break during which host R Fitterman, D Rountree, B Andrews, K Davies, D Kovac, M Harb, R Smith, J Mac Low, D Gardner, M Highfill, J-A Wasserman, A Davies, S Rodefer, and many others milled. Rob gave a good and very friendly introduction. Tim got up, and read poems from his lunch poem series (resumed after a several-month hiatus), letters from artists to artists (e.g. Antonin Artaud to Jasper Johns -- "jam a roman candle up yr ass!" -- or Sally Mann to The Author (TD) -- "play the image card"), new poems, poems on the subject of a community of poets (which poems were written directly after readings and then dedicated to those poets namely Rod Smith, Brian Kim Stefans, Lisa Jarnot), and poems from his second chapbook, _My Life in Politics, A History of N=A=R=R=A=T=I=V=E Film_. Tim is transforming his post-Andrews superchunky vocabulary into a device to generate plausible news, as if Hopkins quit the church and got a gig with Reuters, or ArtForum. But where Hopkins would stick around the same three sounds, Tim _plays the changes_, modulating from one cluster of phonemes to another, another. Too much too. --(hours pass)-- Party at Tim's! Got there after waking from a splendid nap to Xena Warrior Princess's remake of Groundhog Day, then a beefalo dinner, angel hair and artichoke paste. Up the stairs and champagne! and he's moved the futon so the coats go into the front room, only a little music, mainly the same crowd from the reading (nice crowd), I had a nice conversation with my wife and Barbara Henning and then I want to say his name is Shim, he brought out his musical saw and someone else got their guitar, Tim found his banjo, there was a harmonica player and Drew Gardner, thwarted in his search for bongo improvised on a ceramic pasta pot. Lee Ann showed up and they did a happy birthday number of Amazing Grace. Jordan Davis