Tuesday, April 13, 2010

David Clewell reads "Jack Ruby's America"

Today, over a working lunch, Roy Francis Kasten and I embarked upon assembling the poetry score to Jack Ruby's America by Missouri's new poet laureate, David Clewell.

The form of this score will be pure voice - the poet's performance of his own poem - interspersed with pure music, instrumental interludes that provide breaks from the language while commenting upon the poem and creating a counter-narrative of tones and moods.

Today, all we did was chop up Clewell's reading (which Roy and I had recorded, years ago) and save the bits under the titles they will bear on the poetry score CD. Each of these titles, of course, is drawn verbatim from the poem. The musical interludes we will begin to intersperse throughout the poem also will be titled verbatim from Clewell's language.

Here, though, is just the reading, divvied into bits. Each link opens an mp3.


Jack Ruby's America
By David Clewell
Performed by David Clewell

I / Jack Ruby orders the chicken salad: November 21, 1963

I’m in a world of history

Jack Ruby orders the chicken salad

II / The Chicago Cowboy

The extent of my involvement

A man who could handle the chump change

1312 ½ Commerce

Some thin veneer of class

Too green to burn

Jack and the music

III. / Jack Ruby talks business with the new girl: November 21, 1963

Jack Ruby talks business with the new girl

IV / The difference a day makes

The time of his imaginary life

Just another bad dream

He’s long gone now

Down for good

V / Jack Ruby spends his last New Year’s Eve with his sister, telling the truth as he knows it: Parkland Hospital, December 31, 1966

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