Bouchard & David Mills
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996
From: Jordan Davis (jdavis@PANIX.COM)
Subject: Bouchard 8, Mills 9

Bouchard 8, Mills 9 at Poetry City

Time: B (27 mins), M (40 mins)
Attendance: 20

Opening day at Poetry City, the Mayor threw out the first ball, "MASS AVE" editor Bouchard was in good form, loose, built up with six shorter pieces to his longer work "August." Early line drives--"Make way for the language," "If you'd like to make a speech, press pound now," "for lack of what is Pound there," "ampersand ampersand ampersand." A rally in the third as Bouchard riffed on the last line of the Maximus Poems, "My wife my car my color my credit rating..." Titles of poems: "A Pavement Ontology," "Hesiod's Notebook," "Ben's Release," "Purple Finch," and "Washington Square." Bouchard was wearing tan bucks, a green-brown sweater, blue jeans and a watch. His poems are political, because as he put it, he could avoid political concerns as much as he could avoid the fact that it's snowing. Shaking off a cold and the ride in from Boston, Bouchard read eight poems coolly.

David Mills, a teacher in the T&W program, read nine poems, drawing significant guffaws from the mostly Subpoetics crowd with lines like, "I'm gonna call Dick Gregory," "Our stepfather who art in Macon County," and "One must be at least an octoroon on this ride." In a zipped-up fleece jacket, black jeans, black shoes, Mills, whose subject matter ranged from the topical (Clarence Thomas, oral sex, cross-country car trips) to the almost purely rhythmic, Mills was a captivating eccentric stage presence. Titles included: "North Rim," "Great Adventure," "Back Space Talking," and "Strangers in Paradise."

A brief post-game wrap-up at Poetry City was followed by a brisk walk to the Cedar in the cold. Too crowded. Half the audience of the reading went to the Old Town, where if you want to get what they do, get the hamburger. The shepherd's pie isn't bad but...

(In attendance at the reading: Bill Luoma, Douglas Rothschild, Tim Davis, Judith Goldman, Steven Hall, Marcella Durand, Anna Van Lenten, Tim Griffin, Anselm Berrigan, and others.)

--Jordan Davis