"Poetry is easy!"--Billy Collins
Well, I just got back from my reading in NE with Ana B-B and Ken Rumble, hosted by MS and ZS at The Clean Part series. They read their poetry brilliantly and it sort of revived my faith in the "stomach-heart" while confirming my faith in poetry all at once. But the Awesomeness that was the reading started well before the reading:
-Ana and Ken arrive. We discover that "30 Days of Night" is only tolerable if you are drinking whiskey in the theater. And you come to the realization that one of the vampires looks like the poet Jim Behrle and that it's actually an allegory between the poetic aesthetics of Jim and David Lehman.
And you hear the line, "I can smell your blood."
-I am unconvinced that there could be an entire hotel sized store that only sells licorice. I believe it's called Licorice International:
They do, in fact, have a giant store dedicated to selling licorice and it's not actually a cute hotel, as originally suspected.
-We find a shrub that looks like green parted troll hair:
-Ana tries it on:
-Potato chips for breakfast.
-a Trip to the Farm:
a) A cat mummy was found in the barn and now it's framed:
b) There is a kitten. This kitten has fallen in a paint bucket and is now covered in dry paint. Which makes the kitten 100x more loveable and hard to put back on the grass once hugging has commenced.
c) homemade butternut squash soup and pickles and wine for lunch.
d) poets in the grass:
Did you know poets photosynthesize?
e) Ken has a gaint, two pronged "encouragement stick" and is proudly encouraging two cowpies:
-This happened (Ande,Zach):
-After the reading and bar-drinks, we went back to MS's. everyone read more poems. And this lady, ER,
read Paul Celan in German. I almost cried. Nothing this bad-ass has happened before in Nebraska, I'm sure of it. And then she read the poem in English and:
Count up the almonds
Count up the almonds,
count what was bitter and kept you waking,
count me in too:
I sought your eye when you looked out and no one saw you,
I spun that secret thread
where the dew you mused on
slid down to pitchers
tended by a word that reached no one's heart.
There you first fully entered the name that is yours,
you stepped toward yourself on steady feet,
the hammers swung free in the belfry of your silence,
things overheard thrust through to you,
what's dead put its arm around you too,
and the three of you walked through the evening.
Render me bitter.
Number me among the almonds.
What can you say to a poem like that?
Well, you can say this:
Future Author Photo? I smell author photos like I smell blood:
Who am I? Who am I? I will be the one 10 yards behind everyone else, red mittens unraveling, encouraging a kitten to follow me into the pasture, through the fir-tree forest, with a wooden slingshot missing the sling:
Yes, I am kneeling & looking down. Yes, that's where the life is. Thank you, stomach-heart. Thank you for this I know.
Yes, how a slingless wooden slingshot can beckon.