We kicked off the first in a series of eight shows for the Roost with a stunning performance by Tracey Pontani. Truth be told, she’s got one of the finest senses of rhythm around, steely and sensual with a poetic content to match. She opened with a loving poem about an encounter with a woman whose mouth is missed most with the less palatable encounters (ie hate) with a new lover. Then she did her drop dead gorgeous poem for Janis Joplin and now iNK oN pAPER is on stage. Comprised of Milton Villarrubia III on drums and laptop and Carlos Santistevan on bass and electronics, the duo “drag rhythm through the mud in unimaginably glorious ways.”  After they finish, Tracey will be back up for another hit before a full set from the Zack Freeman Improv Trio which includes Mark LeClaire on bass and Jonathan Baldwin on cornet.  While Zach is best known for his solo work in which he creates complex rhythmic backdrops for his lyrics on the fly with only a sampler and his voice, this will be an extra lush incarnation I’m going to sign off an listen, but in closing check out this piece by  Pontani… and don’t forget this series runs 8 weeks. Next up Tracy McMullen/Rob Wallace/Hal Onserud with poet Brian Hendrickson 7:30 pm Sunday August 14th at the Projects (3614 High Street NE, east of Edith and just north of candelaria, through the garage doors).

Atop a Barstool

You find her atop a barstool
6th and South St. dive bar Philly
Heckling the resident comedian,
She’s got 1 drink too many in her left hand
And gestures wildly with her right
She waits for silence to shout “You Suck!”
She means it, but laughs in a way you’d believe she didn’t
He’s becoming used to her
Has worked her insults into his act
And they’ve fallen in love,

so many times
But forget they’ve done so
Once the lines wear off and the hangovers sit heavy
This sexy tragedy
A smile, a deceitful strut
She haunts you
In a way that keeps you coming back to the same bar
Night after night after night
In search of this vixen
Only to sit in some familiar shadow
Baring your teeth like some rabid dog
Thinking of ways to conquer her
But you know, you will never be man enough
To bear the weight of her boot in your teeth
You see, she’s practiced at caring less
She laughs like sorrow, heavy like sin
From her navel to her eyelids
She’s tattooed the names of old lovers down her backbone
A name for every hollow in her rib cage
She knows it’s the only way she’ll ever remember their names
Though their faces she’s still desperate to forget
You love her possibilities more than your own lives sometimes
You love this animal.
Back to the bar stool.
She’s sick of this conversation
Sick of her comedian
Wants to find herself a painter, a piano player…
A poet
Wants to get far the fuck away from here
She wants a more forgiving landscape
Some mountains to hide in
Sunsets and sunrises that make you forget this shit
Fabricate a history
Make it lovely
Beautifully strange and vaguely seductive.
Yes, fabricate a history
A story in which she never picks up a pen
She dances instead
Tiptoeing to her favorite songs
And lying in the safety of a single lover’s arms
This one would never pull her hair, hold her down

Kick her ass
He’d kiss her belly
Sing to her, play guitar

kiss her belly.
Back to the bar stool
Her words are slurring, there’s dust on her nose
Her shoes are kicked off now
You’re jealous of the floor beneath them
You see her falling
You run to catch her and fail
Your heart breaks as you watch her land
But she’s laughing, she’s laughing at you
And you’ve never seen anything more beautiful than this heap on the floor
You’re sure you can fix her
But she
Is not your leaking faucet, your flat tire

your broken swing
She is a body, full of too much blood and detail
A mess of veins and a head full of madness
Back off fool
And don’t worry
She has learned to make it home by now
Always alone
all madness and blood
Carrying her heals.


–lisa gill from the Projects