It’s rare to come across a work of such startling genius as The Underwater Typewriter. Even rarer to have the opportunity to premier a work of such outstanding quality. Punk Rock Sewing Circle is honored to host Marc Zegans on Friday September 25 at 111 Minna as he premiers The Underwater Typewriter. Truly capturing all thematic elements of SF Punk Renaissance: The Wild, Beautiful, and Eclectic Side of Punk, we are grateful to Marc for postponing his East Coast Tour to share his work with all of us.
Friday September 25, 2015 111 Minna, Zappa Room Door at 7:00 Marc Reads at 7:45 PM!
Marc will also be on hand on Thursday September 24th at 4:00 PM at the Odd Fellows to sign copies of THE UNDERWATER TYPEWRITER.
Read Michael Stewart Foley’s stunning review and understand why this is a book and performance not to be missed!
Marc Zegans is a punk-poet and a poet-punk. In The Underwater Typewriter he is as equally at home in the city gutter as he is on the high seas, chronicling tales of mortality from deep in our past to deep in our present. Zegans possesses a keen understanding of history, but also writes with the eye of an anthropologist, the ear of someone who, like my mother, can listen to multiple conversations at once, and the storytelling skills of a griot. I like it best of all when he pulls the pin on his typewriter and uses it like it’s a grenade.
One of his new poems, “P(un)k Poets: Too Fucked to Drink,” works as an elegy not only for San Francisco, but for all American cities gone to anodyne seed.
It begins and ends with the spirit of punk, running up against structural constraints. Zegans takes us from a Dead Kennedys show at the Mabuhay – “drinking out of filthy glasses in plastic Polynesia” – to the Moscone and Milk murders, the City Hall riots that followed the pat-on-the-butt verdict in Dan White’s trial, and, just for good measure, to the tax revolt and the conservative-led annihilation of the middle class.
It’s a poem about dashed hopes, about the revolution put down, crushed by organized ideologues who laid the groundwork – at exactly the moment when punk seemed most dangerous – for the ongoing dispossession of the San Francisco at the hands of the real estate and tech industries and the political hacks who do their bidding.
As if to drive this home, the poem’s second part is all staccato and stiletto, with short stilted lines that, like text messaging, stab and stab at us – a visceral death-by-a-thousand-cuts reminder of all that we have lost, of all that San Francisco has lost in the city’s acquiescence to Silicon invaders: its edge, its wildness, its riots.
The final part of the poem conjures Allen Ginsberg – an O.G. punk if ever there was one – and “Howl,” a poem so dangerous it became the subject of a San Francisco obscenity trial. Zegans asks us if “it is our work now to surrender long lines, to turn the dirt on Allen’s grave” in favor of those vulgar tech/text lines of the preceding stanzas, but here he writes not only of contrasting styles of poetry: he wants to know where we stand. “This time it is on us,” Zegans concludes. “The times demand nothing, but what will we demand of ourselves?” Now that we’re well into fourth decade of mourning the loss of San Francisco, you have to admit: that’s a pretty good fucking question.
Michael Stewart Foley
Author of Dead Kennedys’ “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” (33 1/3)
Professor of American Political Culture and Political Theory, University of Groningen
Stunning review of The Underwater Typewriter by poet and vocalist Lo Galluccio. http://www.thesomervilletimes.com/archives/61255 Lo’s review engages richly and insightfully with several poems in the collection. A well crafted, well styled and honest piece, well worth reading
And an additional piece; equating the poetry to collage http://blog.retrocollage.com/the-underwater-typewriter-collage-and-marc-zeganss-tangible-poetry/