Christopher Bernard Reads from New Collection + Open Mic
…poems of diamond-like brilliance, filled with despair, passion, and surreal beauty. The poet…in an act of intellectual courage, climbs up on the rubble of western culture to speak truth to both power and powerlessness.
The Beat Museum hosts Christopher Bernard for the launch of his new poetry collection, Chien Lunatique. An open mic for spoken word and music will follow his reading.
Love, Modernity, and the Internet.
Just who, or what, is le chien lunatique?
The poet driven out of his mind when faced with the catastrophe of the modern world? The modern world turned into a rabid canine when faced with the hopelessly idealistic poet? Or when it looks in the mirror and sees what it has become?
These poems—profound yet accessible, contemporary yet classical, eloquent and dynamic even when apparently most despairing—distill one poet’s somewhat jaundiced look at modernity, from the Renaissance and the philosophical revolutions of the seventeenth century to the nihilism of postmodernism, from the death of God to the bankruptcy of humanism, from the midnight of the Enlightenment to the immortalized barbarism of the internet. Yet behind all of these poems, supporting them like a hand, lies the passion that drives all of existence, old or new—the ferocious and uncompromising demands of love.
A rabid dog eventually bites itself to death. So is there hope pour ce pauvre chien lunatique? Maybe there is. Maybe there isn’t. Only the future knows. It sits at your feet. Growling.
Christopher Bernard is author of the novels A Spy in the Ruins and Voyage to a Phantom City, the short-story collections Dangerous Stories for Boys and In the American Night, and The Rose Shipwreck: Poems and Photographs. He is co-editor of Caveat Lector and a regular contributor to Synchronized Chaos. Bernard writes fiction, poetry, essays, plays, and criticism. His poetry can be found online at The Bog of St. Philinte. He lives in San Francisco.