Artists run their mouths off on the first day of the year

Wanna sit on my lap?: Bingo Gazingo
photo: Tamara Rosenblum
Wanna sit on my lap?: Bingo Gazingo


Poetry Project's 31st Annual New Year's Day Marathon Reading
Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
St. Mark's Church
131 East 10th Street
$16/$12 for students and seniors

Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza
Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery

Divided into more than 150 blips of performance (poems, prose, and music), the Poetry Project's New Year's Day Marathon Reading features a steady parade of local artists, including Eileen Myles, Philip Glass, Daniel Nester, and Patti Smith. A fine alternative to dejectedly mourning the passage of time (with pulsing hangover), this 31-year-old party of a reading encourages communal literary A.D.D.—artists are given about five minutes to read/sing/scream whatever they please. About 10 blocks due south, the Alternative Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza offers a similar glissando of readings, this one for lesser-known artists with a "greater surprise element," as the event coordinator puts it. Organizers will enforce the year's theme, "Total Eclipse," by turning the lights off on any performer who exceeds the allotted three minutes (a recorded montage of oozy swamp noises accompanies the sudden darkness). Although beer will be served throughout all 10-plus hours of the event, people here seem to be in the mood for fighting, not creating, a hangover. Performers like Guillermo Castro, Janine Avril, Bingo Gazingo, and Edgar Oliver will provide a series of peaceful, bite-size distractions from that deathly first day of the year.