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March 23, 1992 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-23

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 23,1992

'U' prof
f s self
mpoetry
by John Morgan
For Laurence Goldstein, poetry can
be a form of self-analysis.
"People spend a lot of money to
have people psychoanalyze them all
the time," he explained. "I think we
can accomplish the same thing our-
selves by writing ... You write for
yourself, not for an audience ... You
may find yourself taking a new posi-
tion on something because you've
discovered something about yourself
(in your writing) that you never
knew was there."
Laurence Goldstein, besides be-
ing a poet, is a professor of English
at the University, and is the editor of
the Michigan Quarterly Review. He
has published several volumes of
poetry (including Altamira and The
Three Gardens) and literary criti-
cism. A book he is currently working
on will deal with the effect of the
movies on American poets.
While Gold-stein said that he will
read from some of his previously
published work at today's reading,
he will focus more on his current
poetry, much of which is un-
published.
Goldstein's poetry is extremely
diverse in both form and content.
"For me, the pleasure of poetry is in
the different identities and moods I
can create," he said. "I may write in
open style, then in vernacular, then
in a more traditional style. The poet
is a craftsman ... I find that sticking
to one style can become boring."
Goldstein said that he first be-
came attracted to poetry when he
read the Beat poets, such as Allen
Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti.
"Their poetry was a raw, scary
experience," he said. He added how-
ever, that he does not feel his poetry
openly displays this influence, de-
scribing his style as being "more
conservative."
At the same time, he said that he
sees a "visionary" aspect to his work
that may have arisen from the Beats.
"I enjoy doing something different,"
he said.

MUSKET checkmates with passion

Chess, dir. David Kirshenbaum
Power Center
March 20,1992

"See how one little move - it affects so many
lives, hurts so many people," said Alexander Molo-
kov, assistant to the reigning Soviet chess champ.
Chess, the heart-breaking story of those "little
moves," went straight to the hearts of the audience
with its power, passion and humanity.
Patrick Beller gave a captivating and flawless per-
formance as the Russian chess champion Anatoly
Sergievsky. Beller's poise was consistently present in
his songs, dialogues and even while silently eating
yogurt during a chess game. He made viewers weepy
with his stirring rendition of "Anthem," a song de-
scribing Anatoly's devotion to his native country.
As a talented actor, Beller also had the impish
ability to make the audience laugh, as seen in a
conversation with Florence (Maryann Lombardi): "I
am counting on you giving me inside information on
Freddie's game, while we're in bed together," Beller
said with an effective Russian accent.
Lombardi was just as intriguing as Florence. She
did her best singing with Anatoly (in "Terrace Duet"
and "You and I") and with the chorus ("Nobody's on
Nobody's Side"). Her solos were not as strong, but
nonetheless just as passionate. Even in her final
scenes, Florence's demise, Lombardi maintained her
grace and her power while sobbing, collapsed in a
heap on the ground.

Robb McKindles, as the American challenger
Freddie Trumper, appropriately showed the charac-
ter's "break the rules, break the bank" attitude. He
was at his best in the confessional "Pity the Child,"
vocally carrying all of the notes, and ably expressing
the required purging emotions.
Despite a few troublesome high notes and too ma-
ny distracting nervous movements, McKindles' vocal
ability still showed his character's danger and vul-
nerability.
Other powerful performances came from Amy
Heath as Svetlana Sergievsky and Jared Hoffert as
Molokov, both of whom acted their secondary roles
with great presence. The chorus, often a weaker link
when such strong leads are featured, was polished.
The ensemble worked well together, despite a few so-
los which went unheard.
The costume designers created a continuously cle-
ver motif with black and white - especially the black
and white checked articles of clothing, such as
neckties; vests and skirts to show the commercia-
lization of chess, the game. Musical director Lynne
Shankel's full orchestra was outstanding.
Anyone who has ever been in love, or who has
ever had a friend, couldrelate to Chess. Chess is, as
director David Kirshenbaum called it, "a human
story."
People get hurt, people have regrets. Chess is the
illustration of this lesson, and MUSKET showed it
with incomparable vocal power, dramatic conflicts,
tragic losses, and a passionately realistic view of rela-
tionships.
-Melissa Rose Bernardo

0

Regardless of the style, much of
Goldstein's poetry is derived from
personal experience. "Personal expe-
rience is the basis of all poetry," he
said. "A poem I have in the upcom-
ing Iowa Review is about the earli-
est memory I have. Obviously, if
something is your earliest memory,
there is something about it that
caught."
Among Goldstein's favorite sub-
jects for poetry is his native Calif-
ornia, where he still does much of
his writing. "It is doubly interesting.
I can layer over my memories with
the feelings that I have during my
revisits," he said. "Sometimes it
seems that there are two voices in
one poem."
One such California poem is
"Palm Springs." "We tried to make
a paradise of our lives / and it turned
into L.A. So now / our dreams have
a second chance, right here, / not just
property that won't depreciate / but
heaven on earth. O friends, grab it /
before the interest rates go up in
March!"
A number of interesting charac-
ters appear in the poet's work, such
as in "Interview In A Ceiling,"
which is narrated by a grocery clerk.
"You see that old widow in the black
shawl - / no concealing her grief,
or his absence - / I've been
watching her special for months. /
See her hand on the peppers, watch
how she / almost sneaks them in the
'wrong' bag. / She comes close
every time. And if she did steal /
when we stopped her outside the

electric doors / she'd say, 'What's
fifty cents to the Safe-way?"'
"When I create characters in my
poems, whether they are about Bette
Davis or a real-estate agent, they all
fit into the landscape," Goldstein
said.
Writing about his home state also
helped him when he was first star-
ting out. "By focusing on a land-
scape, especially Southern Califor-
nia, it gave me the anchor I needed,"
he said.
Most recently, however, Gold-
stein has tried to get beyond the
realm of his own experiences. "I'm
writing more dramatic situations,
where I can tell a story," he said,
claiming that he enjoys the inventive
aspects of such writing, where he
can create characters and places.
Now, he says, he is trying to con-
vey his own feelings while also dis-
guising them. "The private experi-
ence can be hidden, or glimpsed, but
subordinated to a larger vision," he
said, asserting that this can bring
about a "larger discovery" about
oneself.
"When I write," Goldstein said,
"I ask, 'How can I capture this per-
son? How can I evoke this place?"'
Goldstein's poetry covers a broad
range of both, and remains consis-
tently fascinating throughout.
LAURENCE GOLDSTEIN will be
reading in the Rackham Amphi-
theatre at 4 p.m. today. Admission is
free.

I

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
country-tinged tunes on this album
are funny, but most have some seri-
ous, ironic twists to them.
The Bats are maturing. Their
songs make you stop, temporarily
anyway, and think, and nowadays,
that's unique in and of itself. Down
indicates that the best may be yet to
come from this band.
-Nima Hodaei
Social Distortion
Somewhere Between Heaven,
and Hell
Epic
Social Distortion's new album,
Somewhere Between Heaven and
Hell, is somewhere between good
and bad. The album will appeal to
those music fans who enjoy listening
to pop-oriented punk.
But for those of you who happen
to know this band's older and better
material, Heaven and Hell is a de-
parture from their original style, and,
as a whole, the disc is not up to par.
Social Distortion started out as a
straight-ahead punk band from L.A.
with a fairly stripped-down sound.
Their songs were fast and hard. But
with Heaven and Hell, it is obvious
after a couple of listens that the ma-
jority of the songs are all heavily
produced and made for the radio.

The best example of this made-
for-the-masses appeal would be the
slick sounding song "Bad Luck,"
which has already found itself in
heavy rotation on 89X.
Other tracks lack originality.
Songs like "Making Believe",seem
to be such a close copy of an earlier
record that when I first heard it, I
started singing the lyrics to the older
song by the band.
The only cut that maintains the
original vein of the band is "Cold
Feelings." It has some decent gui-
tars, lyrics, and drums, but it can't
save the disc.
Instead of staying close to their

roots, Social Distortion seems to be
experimenting with a new sound that
resembles country. This sensation
doesn't exactly jump out at you, but
on songs like "Sometimes I Do" and
"This Time Darlin" there are several
nuances in the drums, guitar, and
Mike Ness' vocals that give it a
jangling feel. The lyrics, though,
seem to be right out of the country
music genre - themes of losin' "my
baby" and recurring heartbreaks
pervade the whole album.
Unfortunately, Heaven and Hell
will never take the listener any fur-
ther than purgatory.
-Alan Segal

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Despite their efforts to look like meanies, Social Distortion has actually
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M FA ple do, all set to Cole Porter's phers touched on themes that
"After You." everyone could relate to such as
Continued from page 5 Dancing, much like any other family, memories, growing old,
dancing, girlish poses, race-run- art form, gives a chance to express and human consciences, giving a
ning, muscle-making and skipping feelings about a subject that means new and personal look at recurring
in a circle. It was a carefree look a lot to the choreographer, without issues.
at life and at the funny things peo- requiring words. These choreogra- -Carina A. Bacon

tI

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