The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 3, 1991 - Page 71
Poems for the
by Antonio Roque
"SURE, LET'S CELEBRATE
THE BLACK SIDE/ OF JOY.
iSET'S DROWN/ the cup of cheer/ in
the barrel full of wine."
That's the beginning of my fa-
vorite Michael McClure poem,
"Song." It's in Fragments of Per-
eus, which hadn't been checked out
of the library since 1987 until I
found it, and that's too bad, because
audience is important to McClure.
"I like playing colleges," he
says. "I also like playing clubs a
jt... I like it if they're out there and
they have a drink. I like it if they can
eel free that they can get up and
walk out. I like it if they can feel
free that they can walk in. And I
like it when they feel they can re-
spond, which is a large part. That
they can say, 'Hey man!' You know,
they make some statement or ask
some question. And we'll, you
know, if it's to the point of what
0 we're doing, we'll stop and talk
about it. We're not removed.
"One of the great things about
rock and roll when it started - it's
not so much that way in recent years
- but when it started, the audience
was part of it. They weren't just sit-
ting there, you know, with their
eyes goggled out, listening and
looking at it. They were dancing and
heyknew the people on stage were
* uman beings."
McClure began reciting poetry
in the San Francisco scene back in the
'50s. "It was dangerous," he says.
"It was dangerous being an artist...
You might be a commie."
The '60s were a bit better. Mc-
Clure hung out with this band
called the Doors. "Jim was a good
friend of mine," McClure says of
lead singer, Morrison. And that's
when McClure met Doors keyboar-
dist Ray Manzarek.
The first modern mix of poetry
and music was back in the '50s.
"Poetry and jazz was great,". says
McClure, "but it just didn't work.
Ray and I do something that really
works. We know each other. I saw
(in the fifties) a lot of times you'd
get a good poet up there and you'd
get a good musician up there, but the
musician would just sort of be ac-
companying the poet and the poet
really didn't know anything about
music. And it didn't really come to-
"Ray and I only do the pieces
together that he has the music for
and I have the words for, so that's a
very special set of works. Those po-
ems are in my books. They're impor-
tant poems to me and I read them
without Ray sometimes, but those
are the ones that we do together. We
both hear them together.
"We don't try to ignore (the
Doors connection) because we're
happy to see Doors fans, as long as
they know we're not rock and roll.
Ray isn't going to play 'Light My
Fire' and I don't sing, and it is an en-
When University junior Theresa
McDermit started an assignment
for her Playwriting 227 class in the
Frieze Building two years ago, she
didn't know that her efforts would
materialize on stage. But tonight
through Saturday at 5 in the Arena
Theater, McDermit and director
David Kirshenbaum, along with a
public audience, will finally see the
magic of art in progress. Her play,
Afterthoughts, which lasts a little
over an hour, is based on the story of
a dead man who is granted the op-
portunity to return to the world
and re-examine his life. This origi-
nal script won a Hopwood Award
last year. Kirshenbaum, who di-
rected Cabaret for Musket lai
year, is optimistic about this we'
end's production. He commends
cast and the crew, as well "as
McDermit, for pulling together in
"a real group effort" to organize:A
quality show in minimal time,
McDermit hopes her audience can
"get something from what they
see... draw their own messages,
make their own conclusions." The
Basement Arts production is free.
And if you're still upset about
the Carlos Fuentes lecture being
cancelled, you might want to check
out the first in a new series yof
See WHAT, Pag S
tirely different thing. It's the '90s."
McClure's plan for the '90s in-
volves touring with readings and re- Voted Ann Arbor's Best Cookie
leasing a video (Love Lions). As he
says in the end of "Song," "To be
See POEMS, Page 8
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