—–> Sunday, December 16th, 2012 @ 4pm
My Geniza: A Piled-Up Poem with Raphael Rubinstein
Raphael Rubinstein will read his fragment-poem “A Geniza,” which uses numerous quotations and translations to evoke the 20thcentury Cairo of poet Edmond Jabès, singers and actresses Umm Kalthoum, Asmahan and Leila Mourad, and various other historical figures, with glances at the reality of present-day post-revolution Egypt. Inspired by Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman’s book Sacred Trash: the Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, the poem takes its form from the chaotic archive of manuscripts accumulated over centuries in a storeroom of an ancient Cairo synagogue. The poem also concerns itself with the idea of the fragment chez Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot and Jabès, with what happens to architecture and neighborhoods as the society around them is transformed, and with Jewish-Arab history. This reading/performance of “A Geniza” will occur in a random, never-to-be-repeated sequence.
Raphael Rubinstein is a poet and art critic whose poetry collections include The Basement of the Café Rilke (Hard Press) and The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces (Make Now). The Song Cave will shortly publish his chapbook The Cry of Unbalance, with drawings by Trevor Winkfield. He is a Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston and lives in New York City.