It’s springtime in Athens, blue skies, birds singing. Last night John Pence, Jacob Morris and Julia Maher performed at the New Town Revue. It seemed like half the audience had been at the Maggie Nelson reading the night before. More than a few looked blissed-out and bleary-eyed.
John Pence opened with a tale of near-death involving a sudden drop in temperature and a motorcycle ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lots of insane details… Julia Maher read several poems from her work in progress, Inlet. A man who didn’t know he loved poetry later confessed to me that she made him GET poetry. I’m still haunted by her description of a bug bite. Pence closed with Dicoteleydon, his saga of a plant that could solve virtually every problem known to man. The ending was sudden, left us all stunned.
We were on full Revue style, with the Moths’ Jacob Morris playing songs between Julia and John. For years I’ve watched Jacob back others on cello–most notably with Vic Chesnutt (who our series is dedicated to). We were all slack-jawed to see him play sublime versions of “Spider” and “Flowers,” and to hear the story behind the penning of “Flowers,” which involves heat-exhaustion-induced paranoia, White Tiger, and members of Dark Meat. We only wished he would have played more. But maybe it’s best to leave us all wanting something. Do yourself a favor, check out his work here.