Goo goo gaaahh

Gilberto Rodriguez, Rob Lozano and Art Mantecon at the Book Collector

You are a baby—blank and slobbering. “Goo goo gaaahhh.” That means you are hungry and that your father’s mustache is unsightly. Mother pushes your stroller past a pornographic video store. “Glah,” you say. It means you like the flashing lights in the window. As you age, you learn a new language—a language that is “proper;” the language of adults. Things begin to embarrass you; they please you sexually, and your words become vehicles to maintain your perversions and mask your shame. While your baby language was stone and pure, your adult language is gelatinous and political, no longer a tool of purpose. Now, if you can, forget all you have learned. Blank yourself, babylike, slobbering, and crawl to The Book Collector on Monday evening, where Gilberto Rodriguez, Rob Lozano and Art Mantecon will learn you a new language, closer to the one you were born with. Keeping with Rodriguez’s fascination for lucid unreason, the semi-(un)balanced poet will read Mantecon’s translations of the schizophrenic poet Leopoldo María Panero, whose work has mostly been crafted behind the walls of mental institutions. Then Rodriguez will perform the opening scene from Pär Lagerkvist’s The Dwarf, a classic Swedish tale of pure and unrelenting evil. Lozano, who is also known for performance—at times shocking, base and indecent—may cause some to flee, to retch or to laugh uncontrollably, all in an attempt to bring language back to its original state. This will be a night of poetry without inhibition, without self-serving politics, without superfluous verbiage. It’ll be a night of words that might prove to be “too intimidating for most thin-skinned poets of Sacramento,” says Rodriguez. “Goo.” Hungry.