Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Friday, April 19, 1991
Poet copes with fear of
Misha and modern
by Greg Baise
"I've got to move away from the
Jim Carroll/dope/and all that bull-
shit," proclaimed former street
writer Jim Carroll.
Former street writer? How
could the man who wrote and lived
The Basketball Diaries ever re-
nounce his excessively spent youth?
"There comes a time when you have
to enter this wisdom mode," he ex-
plained, contrasting this new mode
to the Rimbaldian excesses of his
Manhattan earlier years. "You
don't have to lose your edge - you
just work in a closer, more sober
way," he added.
Part of the way that Carroll
plans to hone his serious artistry is
to work on a novel or two, his first
attempt at doing so. Carroll has
produced several volumes of litera-
ture over the years - the (some-
times embellished) journals of his
youth, some collections of poetry,
even some rock 'n' roll albums -
but never a novel. "I don't like
being called a street writer.
Sometimes that's where my lyrics
come from, but I don't confuse my
lyrics with my poetry. Poetry has
always been an escape for me," he
"Poetry readings can be a fucking
bore. I like to design poetry readings
with an edge," he continued, and
Saturday night's performance will
have the added edge of Carroll not
only reading his poetry, but doing
guest vocals on a few songs with
Dark Carnival, a band which fea-
tures the Asheton brothers, two
One of the songs that the Carroll
Carnival will probably perform is
"People Who Died," a role call of
Carroll's pre-teen buddies who just
didn't make it. From the youthful
excesses detailed in The Basketball
Diaries, one might surmise that
Carroll could have very well been
one of those people who died, and
Carroll concurs, with reservations.
Instead of some kind of nihilistic
sexual exhaustion orgy in the
gutters of the Lower East Side, he
thinks he probably would have died
in some less dramatic way. He re-
lated a story of a recent mugging:r"I
got held up about three months ago,
on this really rich street. I was to-
tally straight, going to visit Lou
Reed. I could have died right there,
and seeing that gun was scarier than
writing about overdosing."
Although he'll be taking to the
stage for some rock action, Carroll
isn't about to return to the wild
world of being a reckless rock 'n'
roll youth. "I feel like doing a rock
and roll album once every two
months for a few days," he ex-
plained, adding that he usually
comes to his senses shortly after
that. Carroll is releasing a record
soon, but it's going to be a spoken
word album, with perhaps only a
little bit of musical accompani-
ment. "I'm not compromising my
poetry," he said.
His records might be better
known to the public than his writ-
ing, but Carroll has always been
first and foremost a writer. Just be-
cause he's putting down his axe and
wielding a more consistent pen
doesn't mean that soon gray will in-
filtrate the vibrant orange of
Carroll's locks. Carroll's inspira-
tion has led him to a more sober
land of artistic illumination, and as
the man himself says, "You don't
fuck around with the muse."
JIM CARROLL reads Saturday at
Club Ileidelberg, twice: at 7:30
p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The early show
features the Oscar-winning KIM
HUNTER and the late show features
Stooges Wax Museum reprobates
DARK CARNIVAL. The first show
costs $5 in advance and $7.50 at the
door, and the second is $9.50 in
advance and $12 at the door.
by Justine Unatin
Y ou don't need to hit
Blockbuster's this weekend in or-
der to catch a glimpse of Mikhail
Baryshnikov - master of defying
gravity. Baryshnikov and nine
dancers comprise The White Oak
Dance Project. This weekend, the
group will perform the work of
renowned choreographer Mark
Morris. Morris's unique, off-the-
wall brand of choreography should
create quite the uplifting experi-
In each of the show's four
pieces, an element of humor domi-
nates the importance of theme.
According to Project dancer Kate
Johnson, Morris's style is "not ob-
scure humor, but not comedy, he
has an eye for the absurd."
"Canonic Waltzes," stages it-
self in a rather lofty position as a
study in canons. However, accord-
ing to Johnson, the piece "doesn't
take itself seriously." "Pas de
Poisson" suggests bizarre humor
in a more blatant fashion. (No,
your French isn't that rusty, the ti-
tle really is "Step of the Fish.")
This piece, says Johnson, "raises a
lot of questions and answers
So what about Misha? The king
of pirouettes will contribute to
the spontaneous edge of the perfor-
mance in an "impromptu like"
solo consisting of 10 vignettes.
He'll trade in some of the graceful
lyricism typically associated with
ballet for geometric and (argh!)
barefooted movement. "Each sec-
tion has the feel of the music, the
moment, a prompt," says Johnson.
Don't worry, he also appears in
several of the group pieces.
We all know Baryshnikov can
twirl and leap like no other, but
what's he really like? When con-
fronted with this million dollar
question, Johnson calmly replied,
"He's a dancer, we're dancers and
we all work together. (The audi-
ence) comes to see Baryshnikov
dance and they are pleasantly
pleased to see the rest." Johnson
adds that their group differs
greatly from the typically hierar-
chical structure of ballet compa-
nies. Each of the dancers is a star,
who considers the others with mu-
Johnson says she is "fascinated}
with Mark's (Morris) work"
which has proven to be a great chal-
lenge to everyone in the company.
She considers the exploration of
his concept of dance to be a very
"rich" experience. His unique,
avant-garde style of choreography,
she adds, is "something that has to
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