Sunday, May 07, 2006

gig 009 - w/Lyubomir Levchev and Bob Holman

Saturday April 29, 2006
@ Bowery Poetry Club, New York

John Sobol – vox

Well, it was supposed to be a performance of my one-man show
Two Million Years of Technology

i even made a cool flyer:
but i was so busy i didn't get much promo done beforehand
and when we arrived on a gorgeous sunny spring morning that also happened to be the day of the biggest ever (in USA) anti-Bush protest which was going by a block away
well I realized that
as they say in french
"il n'y aura pas un chat"
in other words nobody was going to be at my way-too-early gig on this beauitful day
(although Lisa and Isabelle did in fact show up - Thanks!)

So we hung out, Bob Holman and I and Annie and the kids
and waited for the 1 clock poets to arrive with their audience
and when they did it turned out to be a celebration of Bulgaria's most revered poet
Lyubomir Levchev
to whom Yevtushenko said, when Levchev was being criticized from both the right and left, "You can't make a lion out of a thousand cats" and who also reportedly reported, metaphorically or literally I know not, that when Lyubomir walks the streets of Sofia people toss flowers at him
LL was a grizzled and canny old fellow who was present with his wife on the occasion of a new translation of his poems into English
and so we all chilled
and I riffed a poem for Lyubomir and the protesters and Lisa and Isabelle by way of introduction
that, while not exactly brilliant, was nonetheless on point I think
and we all listened to the Bulgarian verses and their english equivalents
energetic language but simple narrative open verse
lovely at times
mostly interesting to meet the man
who had a real sense of humour and a puma-handled ivory cane
the kids drew his warty portrait with bic pens while he read and then gave them to him afterwards
gifts he received graciously
all in all a worthy encounter
another excellent poetic adventure
thanks Bob

Risk Factor: 7
Riff Factor: 10
Delivery: 7
Wild Card: Plan A out the window, Plan B from Bulgaria
Cash Factor: 0
Parking Lot: 300,000 pissed-off protesters


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