This week is going by very quickly- like a kite that has taken on the abilities of an airplane and has lifted the small child holding the string off the ground and is pummeling the clouds and then the stars and then the rings of saturn...
Yeah, that fast.
Maybe this will bring you back to when you had 5th grade math homework you didn't want to do, "Tennessee":
I'm reading The Rings of Saturn by Sebald. It's so sad. It's also one of the best contemporary books I've ever read. (JPH, have you read it? I think of you when I read it). This is one of my favorite parts (I'll even type it all up for you all), when the narrator is writing about his patron saint:
"During the wedding night, the story goes, he was afflicted with a sense of profound unworthiness. Today, he is supposed to have said to his bride, our bodies are adorned, but tomorrow they wull be food for worms. Before day break he fled, making a pilgrimage to Italy, where he lived in solitude until he felt the power to work miracles arising within him. After saving the Anglo-Saxon princes Winnibald and Wunibald from certain starvation with a loaf baked from ashes and brought to them by a celestial messenger....in the house of a wheelwright too mean to spare the kindling, he lit a fire with icicles. This story of the burning of the frozen substances of life has, of late, meant much to me, and I wonder now whether inner coldness and desolation may not be the pre-condition for making the world believe, by a kind of fraudulent showmanship, that one’s own wretched heart is still aglow (86).”
That last line is true beauty and sadness. It is moments like these where we see the narrator connecting with history and exposing himself through history in ways that make him finally seem real, approachable, and penetrable. We see his trepidation and ambivalence about how we convince (or fool) others of our own humanity.
Humanity is a corny word to use, sorry. But will one of you fine people please name your child either Winnibald or Wunibald? Please?
Next Thursday you are going to have to skip the new episode of The Office or Grey's Anatomy and come to the RealPoetik reading:
Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 8 pm.
Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, between Houston and Bleecker. $8.
& CAROL PETERS!!!
Hosted by Editors Ana Bozicevic-Bowling & Caroline Conway
Sharon Dolin is the author of three books of poems: Realm of the Possible (Four Way Books, 2004), Serious Pink (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), and Heart Work (The Sheep Meadow Press, 1995), as well as five poetry chapbooks. Her latest book, Burn and Dodge, is the winner of the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Dolin is Poet-in-Residence at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. She directs The Center for Book Arts Annual Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Competition and is a Curator for their Broadsides Reading Series.
Tao Lin is the author of a novel, EEEEE EEE EEEE, a story-collection, BED, and a poetry-collection, YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM. Melville House will publish his second poetry-collection, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, in 2008.
Niels Hav is a Danish poet and short story writer living in Copenhagen with his wife, concert pianist Christina Bjørkøe. His new collection of poetry We Are Here is published by Book Thug, Toronto (email@example.com), and a selection of his poetry from the early years, God's Blue Morris, was published in Canada in 1992. He is the author of five collections of poetry and three of short fiction.
Elisa Gabbert is an editor of Absent. Her recent poems have appeared or will appear in Pleiades, Cannibal, and LIT. A chapbook, Thanks for Sending the Engine , is available from Kitchen Press, and a book of collaborative poems written with Kathleen Rooney, That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness, is forthcoming from Otoliths Books.
Sampson Starkweather's poems and essays have recently appeared or are forthcoming in LIT, Octopus Magazine, jubilat, New York Quarterly, and many other publications. He lives in the woods alone.
Carol Peters writes poetry and teaches creative writing. Her chapbook, Muddy Prints, Water Shine, will be published in the 2007 New Women's Voices Series by Finishing Line Press out of Georgetown, Kentucky. Carol's work has appeared in Cairn, Pembroke Magazine , miPOradio, Pebble Lake Review, Bamboo Ridge, Ink Pot , Ink Burns, and the anthology Always on Friday. She divides her time between Charleston, SC and Hakalau, HI and blogs at http://carolpeters.blogspot.com .
I know for a fact that Sam and Elisa will rock your hearts out into your hands and then we can all play "hot potato" with them. Get down.