Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Poetry Reading

Went to a poetry reading yesterday. Very disturbing, in a good way.

In prose, in an essay, when the right word comes, it's a perfect fit. It feels precise and satisfying. In poetry, the "right" word comes, but it doesn't feel right; it sticks, like an arrow in the flesh. It has to be eased in, not pulled out. The meanings shift; the poem begins to resonate.

Anyway, the reading is still resonating with me. Brought up a lot of memories, mostly after the reading. I'm still a bit raw and incoherent now, but I'll note a few things. (This is more of a memory-jogging entry for me. Andrew Zawacki and Joshua Harmon were the poets. Not exactly my kind of poetry, but I admired their verve. And their love of landscapes, which we briefly discussed beforehand. (We were actually discussing where the highest point in the county was). Landscape, geography more precisely, inspires a lot of their poetry. Harmon wrote one about looking out his window at a rainy Poughkeepsie street. He talked about hanging on to each bit of nature, like the lone tree in his backyard. It reminded me a lot of living in the Port. Zawacki had the more precise and cutting lines; Harmon has a sense of humor in his poems which I hope he develops further. BJ told Zawacki there was a stream-of-consciousness feel to one of his poems. I thought of Ginsberg around that campfire in Colorado. And I was heartened by what they said about teaching: Zawacki that poems aren't a puzzle to be solved; Harmon, that neither are they just expressing feelings. BJ said it all was better than going to a play; I say certainly better than a movie.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Imaginary Friend

My last post was June?? "Gone are the months of summer, gone beyond pursuit." That's Vassar Miller, but I can't find a link to the poem. Perhaps I have the line wrong. Well, anyway, they are gone. It's dark now in the morning, and my fingers are cold. There is playoff baseball; each season has its emoluments, I suppose. But what can compare to a summer's day?

I'm blogging at work, on a weekday. I'm in too good a mood to do actual work--this morning my cardiologist said I was the healthiest person he was likely to see today. And L. is working at the Gardens on a project she is loving, and she has tomorrow there too. So God is in his heaven, and all's well.

I just flashed back to a childhood memory. One October 23rd, I distinctly remember jotting my homework assignments down in my little notebook, with a great deal of satisfaction at how smoothly the whole day had gone. I remember I had been anxious about returning to school, and now by Oct. 23rd I had become inured to the whole process, so much so that the routine of schoolwork had become painless, even comforting. I celebrated such transitions for a number of October 23rds afterwards.

The years are gone, but that little tyke lives on in my head. Not a bad little fellow.