Ugly Duckling Presse

Lounge Act
Lounge Act

Wayne Koestenbaum

Poetry/Performance/Music | $30 $25
Spring 2017
Buy"Our Roland Barthes ... remastered, cleared for the pressure zone of American mythologies."
Poet, critic, and artist Wayne Koestenbaum performs piano miniatures (Scriabin, Chopin, Fauré, Milhaud, and Poulenc) while incanting spontaneous Sprechstimme-style soliloquies. Koestenbaum improvises words that stream in correspondence with the score’s musical phrases.

This LP is a live performance recorded on Friday October 16, 2015, at REDCAT gallery as part of the "Hotel Theory" exhibition curated by Sohrab Mohebbi in collaboration with Ruth Estévez.

Lounge Act is the second release in the new UDPR series, in a limited edition of 300 copies.

Lounge Act is produced in collaboration with REDCAT.

UDPR is a vinyl record series for the sound of poetry, curated by Michael Barron for Ugly Duckling Presse.

Excerpt ˇ


Chopin, Mazurka, opus 33, number 1
("I tied my tubes tonight")

I went to CVS tonight
before this performance
I tied my tubes at CVS

CVS has a rabbi
He'll tie your tubes

I don't want to be a deadbeat Dad
I don't want to perpetuate this line

so I went to CVS
and I said "Mr. Rabbi
will you scissor these strings that tie me
to the hinge of melancholy on that aforementioned plinth--
the strings of interrelation?"

and now my tubes are tied
I'm a clean man
I tied my tubes at CVS for free

next, I'll get a bris
I want to lose this useless flap of skin

Close ˆ

About the Author

Wayne Koestenbaum
Photo credit: Katherine McMahon
Wayne Koestenbaum has published eighteen books of poetry, criticism, and fiction, including Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Humiliation, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). He has had solo exhibitions of his paintings at White Columns (New York), 356 Mission (L.A.), and the University of Kentucky Art Museum. He is a Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and French at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. His experiments with the musical lecture format have included performances at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, REDCAT, The Kitchen, Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou.

Advance Praise

Set against a pink, black, and gold net.... Koestenbaum took to the piano to perform short pieces by some of his favorite composers, including Scriabin, Chopin, Fauré, Milhaud, and Poulenc, while sing-talking improvisational monologues that obtained the look and feel of both poetry and stand-up comedy. Koestenbaum struck a delicate sonic balance between aural poignancy and the midnight sound of a cat in heat, breaking once between two sets to read a gorgeous, fragmentary poem.—Andrew Durbin, Artforum
Did you hear? Poet, critic, painter, and now memoirist and piano virtuoso Wayne Koestenbaum lost seven pounds dreaming out loud to his own rendition of Scriabin's piano miniatures. He really did it! Google it.—Jack Bankowsky, Artforum
Perverse, idiosyncratic, brilliant, curious, astonished, inspired..... The witty and vulnerable openness of these poems would be enough to make them appealing. But then there is a refreshingly casual (that is, not ostentatious) polymathic erudition that informs them--covering film, philosophy, literature, visual arts, and more--that makes them all the more compelling.—Thomas March, LAMBDA Literary Review