There are so much Andrei Codrescu writes which touches on themes in my life. How art and artists live, survive with some integrity is maybe the most constant. But then I came across another great interest we share: Tristan Tzara. He wishes to write a fictionalized account of Tzara’s life. When I gushed my fanaticism, Andrei asked me: Why haven’t we met before? (Listen to the interview here.)
I don’t think any poet ever grabbed and then sustained my imagination in the way Tzara has. Every action of his was spectacle, meaningful, outrageous spectacle, and in great aesthetic achievement. - That’s to say I love his poetry, whatever it means or doesn’t mean, and found as many books as I could. As Andrei pointed out, much of the poetry is only translated into French. Reading this kind of inventive French was such a pleasure - even if I wasn’t thoroughly “getting it,” Tzara would probably liked what I was getting.
I loved his roar roar roar roar. It’s been the secret password, blessing, prayer and curse. But most of all I’ve loved his leadership of something which cannot be led, as he founded Dada, the very word and all that comes with it, a scream. Dada collided with punk in my timeline and it was like the one thing to really verify and validate the latter. The only time I ever organized a poetry event (at Hotel Utah in SF), I called it The Spirit of the Tzara, so raucous, he may have invisibly presided.
(Plus he had great personal style.)