Marc Zegans | Night Work

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Spoken Word: Poetry Avant Garde: Sound Art Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Night Work

by Marc Zegans

"So thick with imagery, so physically dense, the poems in Night Work invite full-body participation." ~ Eric Edelman
Genre: Spoken Word: Poetry
Release Date: 

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1. Withdrawal
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2. Laundry and Grief
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3. One Flight
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4. Clouding
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5. Running
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6. Fall River Girl
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7. Dounia
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8. 3 Haiku
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9. Trip
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10. Cycle and Layer
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11. Clearing
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12. Pressed Tin
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13. Solstice
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14. Play
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15. Passing
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16. Puddle
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17. Bastard's Song
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18. Open Window
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19. Promise and Lie
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20. Holding
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21. Night
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22. Hacking
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23. Entry
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24. Dead Man's Point
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25. Breaking the Muse
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Erotic and sad, a logue of girls: broken-hearted, cruel and grieving - a celebration of love and naughty women...

~ Erin Cressida Wilson

(Erin Cressida Wilson wrote the screenplays for the films Secretary and Fur, and co-wrote The Erotica Project with Lillian Anne Slugocki.)

Marc Zegans is a poet, playwright and author. His current work explores waking dreams and the experience of human fragility in the post-industrial landscape. His spoken word Album Night Work was released by Philistine Records in August 2007. In February 2007 Marc premiered a performance piece entitled Women, Waking, Danger: An Experiment in Combination with multi-media artist Aki Onda. He also recently completed, the manuscript for Pillow Talk: A Collection of Erotic Haiku to be released by G-Spot press. Presently, Marc is presently completing a book of poems entitled, Danger and Abandon.

In 2005 he began the “Question Book Project” which circulates hand-made books throughout the world inviting individuals to add an ever-growing web of questions to their pages. Noted graphic artist and foam-board engineer, Eric Edelman is developing nesting structures for the question books, so that they may grow in physical depth and complexity as they expand in content. At the request of Gabrielle Senza, Marc created a giant question book that invited artists to respond to a series of questions about abuse as part of the Storefront Artists sponsored, RADALDA installation project in Pittsfield Massachusetts. Marc’s poetry appeared in broadside as part of “The Art of Self and Recovery” a 2007 exhibition in Great Barrington Massachusetts sponsored by the Elizabeth Freeman Center. His play Mum and Shah was the Boston Globe “Pick of the Week.”


Reviews


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Matthew D'Abate

ght Quiet Now
Her darling light quiet now, receding/ too dim for shadow; her open
eyes/ unpuddled by grief, light on nothing/ as her dust flicked
lashes/ untwitched, wait ready/ Is this poise, or something less?

"Laundry and Grief". This is classic Zegans. Immediate sensory
images, dangerous yet alluring eroticism, truthful, and sadly, often
regrettable intuition into the hearts and consciousness of others. As
his cd, “Night Work”, unfolds Marc Zegans, Cambridge's own poet,
pushes us ever further into the dark and murky areas of our own
sexual and primal natures. Guided by his verbal flashlight, the nooks
and crannies of loss, regret, desire, and memory are set in the
gallery for viewing.

On "Night Work", the blend of nocturnal growls and light-hearted
mornings come through in his vocals made emotive by the language,
Zegans weaves these sensory photographs with authentic passion, his
voice yearning to touch another being. This is poetic intercourse and
"Night Work" is the aphrodisiac.

"I ere in favor of this long moment/knowing I have broken it forever."

Donna Creighton, Canadian Singer Songwriter and Playwright

“Night Work” by Marc Zegans: Poems that Impact
Every artist, writer, and painter longs to find another person in their lifetime to which they can say, “you really get me, who I am and what I have been through.” We long for a connection with someone who can show us that our experiences in this life are valid not a creation of what often we are told is our memory twisted to suit our own view of the world. We hope that somewhere there is another human being on the planet that can describe for us our experiences of life: our loves and losses, our joys and our trauma. Why else, if not to find pieces of our fractured souls among the lives of others, would we seek to find ourselves in art, to read stories and poems, or lose ourselves in a good book? This search came to a conclusion for me when I discovered the poetry of American Performance Poet, Marc Zegans: poems that at times impact like a fist, at times like a lover, at times like a mirror.

There are 25 poems on Zegans recent live CD rich and resonant with vivid images skilfully spoken in a way that makes those images dive deep and take hold. Though Zegans gives us countless things to ponder and feel, he winds a thread of images that focus’ on the eyes, vivid descriptions through vision, light and dark which takes the listener, almost harnessed, place to place showing past, present and future. Hand in hand we travel with the same emotional attachment and detachment as the poet, responsibility and survival: controlled and disciplined. We look, we feel, we experience, and, finally, we are validated by events.

Several poems stand out for me as particular gems. In “Clouding” the female’s eyes are “turbulent as milk”. She is totally creepy—evil has taken up residence in her “quivering copper irises”, yet the poet feels at fault.

The repeated lines in “Solstice” have a songlike quality. Like a chorus in a Tom Waits song we journey around a renovated haunt of Zegans’ youth: “I washed back twenty years” the chorus repeats until our tour of the bar ends with a sweet and sour lime twist when Zegans discloses that he and the bar “had changed places” and he had become the trusted old place of his youth: pure!

“Bastard’s Song’s” lines tumble double entendres into tags and da capos. “Illegitimate I in wedlock born” articulates, alliterates and legitimizes the common misconception of accidental pregnancy and birth and questions how the life of a child born and living could be of no consequence.

Promise and Lie: Images of light and reflection, metal and monster, violence and acceptance that in the end, with a body broken or spirit beaten and bruised, cracked and exposed like mosaic tile still has value and worth in the world if only to eventually tell the truth.

In “Puddle” we stand at the edge of Walden Pond, alone in a beautiful empty and quiet moment longing for wider spaces and feel what Robert Frost may have felt in “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Eve”. With a similar emotive sense to the poems of Leonard Cohen we are voyeurs having a luxurious sexual experience with “Night”, “Fall River Girl”, and “Dounia”, and we are shaken by images in “Trip” of death, dying and darkness as though we were standing at the side of a dying man’s bed as he repeats “I died three deaths last night”.

Zegans’ work shows that all experience is worthwhile: that there is a purpose to the pain, grief, sorrow, joy and longing. In the end we are left knowing that love indeed exists and that we can do more than survive. We may be damaged, but we are still standing, standing true—choosing to live fully, to love fully, even as we find ourselves fractured, broken, and beset by periods of despair. Walking hand in hand with the author, we look at the bits and pieces of our broken lives and find that in the journey we have come to embrace our true selves.

~ Donna Creighton

Sandra Miller

Night Work
We all have those songs—the ones that make us feel so deeply that whenever we hear them, wherever we may be, we’ll listen with our whole being and not just remember a feeling, but have that feeling again and then again. The mix of voice, lyric and sound keeps us captive in shared emotion.

There are some poems in Marc Zegans’ Night Work that hold me that way. His voice-- a bold, honeyed, nuanced instrument creates the music of these poems. The lyrics speak of longing, often sex, sometimes love and nearly always an ache for connection. To the girl with “tea brown hands” in Dounia. To the world his broken eyes won’t let him see in Withdrawal. For all of the darkness conveyed, the illumination comes through the poet’s insight into these worlds. Whether you find them familiar or foreign, they are always vivid and rife with feeling. This CD is just gorgeous.

Colby Devitt

Entranced by Nightwork
Exquisitely read, Zegan's poems are lusty, poignant, and startlingly fresh. I am entranced.

Matthew D'Abate

Her Darling Light
Her darling light quiet now, receding/ too dim for shadow; her open eyes/ unpuddled by grief, light on nothing/ as her dust flicked lashes/ untwitched, wait ready/ Is this poise, or something less?

"Laundry and Grief". This is classic Zegans. Immediate sensory images, dangerous yet alluring eroticism, truthful, and sadly, often regrettable intuition into the hearts and consciousness of others; As his cd, “Night Work”, ufolds Marc Zegans, Cambridge's own poet, pushes us ever further into the dark and murky areas of our own sexual and primal natures. Guided by his verbal flashlight, the nooks and crannies of loss, regret, desire, and memory are set in the gallery for viewing.

On "Night Work", the blend of nocturnal growls and light-hearted mornings come through in his vocals made emotive by the language, Zegans weaves these sensory photographs with authentic passion, his voice yearning to touch another being. This is poetic intercourse and "Night Work" is the aphrodisiac.

"I ere in favor of this long moment/knowing I have broken it forever."

Lisa Francesca

A triumph of wholeness
“There is a crack, a crack in everything,” sings Leonard Cohen,“That’s how the light gets in.” Marc Zegans’ Night Work, delicious and refreshing in the cacophonous, dry forest of contemporary poetry, explores that crack with delicate fingers. Here’s why you should own this CD: you can return to it; it’s a deep enough pool, and it just gets better with more listening. Zegans’ work is truthful, humane, profoundly interesting—-a rich, sustained thirty-three minutes of the messy sacredness of life.
Twenty five intelligent poems span a youth and aching young adulthood lived from the edge of San Francisco’s Presidio to the Cambridge Commons. Zegans couples a clear-eyed, cut-the-bullshit observation with a rare kind of love that comes from having been divested of all but breath. Among a sometimes chant of memories and funny, philosophical epiphanies, he invites us to witness, at a careful pace, his own season with death (“And at last I came to love/ my foolish self”), and the loss of a finite marriage (“Was it poise?/ Or something less?”), and other details of his journey: a worn jacket, an unconscionable childhood trauma, a broken playback button, shattering plate glass, crushed jasmine. There is not one moment of self-pity; instead, I got from him a celebratory sense of awe.
Zegans says toward the end, “I am not whole, I know that.” But this piece of work is in fact a triumph of wholeness: broken shell, broken heart, darkness, light and all. Zegans is an artist to watch. He’s found his voice and stride, his techniques are evolving and there’s no question he has more to say. I cannot wait to see what he produces next.

jennifer greer dignazio

listen...
marcs writing is courageous. cerebral and unsentimental, its images drag you here and there, so that there is a kaleidoscopic effect on the listener. somewhere perhaps in the lineage of the beat poets, these are the words of a man whose senses are acute. its like the work of a cat, a city cat: all awareness. marc could be a painter: he takes you to an exact moment and in these pieces you are standing right next to him.

Eric Edelman

Nightwork by Mark Zegans
Marc Zegans’s poetry is so thick with imagery, so physically dense, that it overwhelms one’s sensorium. Rife with synaesthetic possibilities, the poems in the spoken album Nightwork invite full-body participation: one cannot listen passively to them, one plunges through them, feeling their wordstreams impinge with friction upon the body as one swims through a welter of light and smell and taste and sound. Aural images do not translate, but rather transmute instantaneously to other modes of sense. All of this arises simply from woven, spoken words.

But all is not full roaring flood in Zegans’s world. Thickly sensual wordflows alternate with stanzas of upright and more measured rhythms, achieving together a balance possible to neither alone. The poems “Dounia,” “Play,” and “Solstice” demonstrate such balance: Zegans uses the power of repeated lines to frame and contain, the stress of repetition to propel the poem forward.

Part of the allure of this collection of poems arises from Zegans’s delivery. Beautiful and muscular as they are on the page, the poems as spoken by their poet gain in the voicing. Zegans has always been a sensual poet as well as a sensual man. With his voice, with his timbre and rhythm, he conveys his keen appreciation and savor of physical things and processes. This extends not only to pleasurable but also to painful (even agonizing) subjects: In “Cycle and Layer,” for example, Zegans’s voice expresses passionate admiration and wonder at the intricate layering and transfixion within a sculptural portrayal of gestation, an enthusiasm grading masterfully and gradually into elegiac sadness, ending finally in gentle wryness. And in “Solstice,” Zegans uses the line “I washed back twenty years” thrummingly, to build a ricercare of call-and-response that returns again and again to a rich, memorial repository of past places and being, and concludes as an ironic meditation on age and change.

Just as Dylan Thomas was able to speak life into the sensuous world of his poetry, so does Marc Zegans have that same power. Sometimes his voice has the mellow richness of butter; at other times it thrusts urgently forward into thickets of spiked rhythm. At all times the delivery matches the poem perfectly. Perhaps the only one who should be permitted to read aloud the poetry of Marc Zegans is Zegans himself.

Nightwork makes a powerful case that spoken-word albums can be every bit as exciting as musical ones. One hopes that it is the harbinger of a revolution in the presentation of poetry, and that other poets will be tempted to follow the lead of Marc Zegans.

Eric Edelman
New York City
21 August 2007