Why am I drawn to abstraction in images and quite dubious of this gesture in writing, wary of a writer’s intentional subterfuge, and the privilege, perhaps, of a writer who does not need to comment on the world with narrative clarity, with a point, with a discernible stance, evidence, argument? In an attempt to bring this personally persistent mix of desire and wariness into dialogue, I have begun to unpack the word “abstraction,” and though I voluntarily stepped away from a PhD program more than twenty years ago, I am still exploring “argument” and its forms. Researching textiles — in order to teach a course on expository writing through textiles and to imagine a poetry workshop via textiles — the words “geometry” and “pattern” began to take hold, not necessarily eclipsing abstraction, but emerging from a word more various than I thought.
The Evenings of Various Wonder occur as an entirely homemade, occasional, and joyful labor of love. I organize them when friends from afar whose work I am excited to share with the local literary and arts communities are coming to Los Angeles at a time when I have the space and wherewithal to host an event. Performers have been from many places in the U.S., from India, from Mexico, from all across Los Angeles, and from right around the corner in Cypress Park. Audience sizes have ranged from around 40 to around 120.