Lev Rubinstein

photo by Charles Bernstein / PennSound

It was a delight to hear Moscow poet Lev Rubinstein read last night at Hunter College, with translations from the UDP collectionCompleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties, which includes the complete set of his works composed (in sequence) on small library catalog cards. Matvei Yankelevich read the translations.

When I read Ugly Duckling Presses’s collected poems of Lev Rubinstein, I felt an enormous affinity between work we both were doing, unknown to one another, in the the 1970s. Rubinstein’s is a poetry of changing parts that ensnares the evanescent uncanniness of the everyday (in ways that bring to mind the seriality of both Reznikoff and Grenier). By means of rhythmically foregrounding a central device — the basic unit of the work is the index card — Rubinstein continuously remakes actual for us a flickering now time that is both intimate and strange.

I made a short video of the reading: MP4
And a full audio (135 min.): MP3
In 2007, I also filmed Rubinstein reading: portraits series 8