Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Digs, Old Dudes, Present Findings

As Messrs Fagen & Becker had it in 1974, any minor world that breaks apart falls together again, and so it has.

The Messrs of the Poetic Research Bureau –– after six months of whim, errancy and reconstruction –– return to rearrange the chairs and podia, reopening their forum to peers and public alike. And should you read further, Public it is.

After two and a half years in southwest Glendale, where like Lou Reed in an imagined 1974 Berlin, they have constantly watched the bluebird fly over their shoulders (to Rally Burger, no doubt), the Messrs draw the curtains on a new prospect, this the one into which Robert Towne placed a hapless Jake Gittes in 1974 to do "as little as possible" while the world convulsed about him.

It's Chinatown: 951 Chung King Rd to be exact. New digs –– okay and huzzah! –– but old habits all the same.

You may recognize the address, home to the visible college of the open program: The Public School, a school with no curriculum save for that which, like Australopithecus afarensis dug up from the slate in 1974, has somehow been there all along. The Messrs promise not to call their discoveries Lucy -- they have no idea who that is. But the PRB nonetheless joins the Public School as active cohort, in deference to any collaborative future that shakes the pelvic girdle from its earthly Depression.

Believe in their enterprise. It's not quite like that of Donald Barthelme's protagonist in his tale of central planning gone awry "I Bought a Little City," published in mid-November 1974. The Messrs have not purchased Galveston, and they'd never shoot a dog. But like the interstellar radio message deployed from the Arecibo Observatory toward the M13 Great Globular Cluster in 1974, their aspirational reach is no less great and their career no less patient.

And you don't have to wait until year 27000 to receive the message. It arrives in December, when irregular programming recommences with readings by Grace Krilanovich and Messrs Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch, on the evening of the 11th. Check the calendar to the upper right for future noise. Of the rest, they'll remain silent, like the Indian Smiling Buddha that swallowed the mushroom cloud in 1974. Unlike him, however, they promise the tension will be creative.

Consider this the relaunch of yet another minor world, or yet another green world, mayhaps (though that LP would not be released until 1975, why quibble with promise?). When you want to visit, give these old Messrs a write.

As ever: