This documentary about Seattle writer Steven Jay Bernstein starts tonight at the Clinton Street Theater and runs through next Thursday. A notable poet and performer, Bernstein was a staple of the Seattle scene until his suicide in 1991. The documentary features a healthy amount of footage from his rousing and idiosyncratic readings. Bernstein's voice is classic, rough and sarcastic, and his writings are vulgar and full of images. He was a natural heir of William Burroughs, with whom he corresponded, and lived a genuinely down and out life.

The trailer plays up his connections to Soundgarden and Nirvana (Bernstein used to read before shows and he recorded and album with Sub Pop), but as a writer he belongs more to the Beats. I Am Secretly An Important Man shows nightly at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. at the Clinton Street Theater.