Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Photo ID Required for Redemption Press

Last night I called 911 for the first time in my life. A group of hoodlums outside my window were breaking glass & taking broken windowpanes from my apartment's garbage pile at 4am. They were yelling drunkenly & seemed to be trying to hunt someone to beat them with the makeshift beat sticks. So I called 911 because I was afraid they'd actually find the kid they were shouting at and club him to a pulp. I'm thinking that human-teenager-pulp is bad.

The 911 lady was very nice.

Also, gypsy cabs started circling the crew of hoodlums, which I think helped break them up before the cop(s) arrived.


Thank you, cabbies-awake-at-4am.

***

I came home from work this evening and curled up in bed with Kate Greenstreet. Well, okay, maybe just Greenstreet's chapbook, This Is Why I Hurt You.

It's so good! Like finding the face of a bear at the bottom of your bowl once you spooned all the ice-cream into your mouth.

These are two of my favorite stanzas:

I didn't know if, because [the deer] was wounded, he
might harm me--out of desperation. But I didn't
want to push him away. He would put his head
down on my lap, then lift it up--to look at me
and speak. After a while I realized he wasn't really
talking--it was a machine, inside him.

And then much later in the chapbook:

The night works by slowing. "I've always known"
is a way to name it. He had these big sharp claws
on his hooves, and sometimes he'd put one up on
me. I understood it as the part of our mind where
art comes from. And I hope he wouldn't scratch
me with them, because that would really hurt.

Man, there are so many lines that will break you. But it's like having your back cracked by someone you trust. It may sound scary, but afterwards you'll feel a bit relieved, a bit taller, and then you go to your secret collection of stethoscopes hanging from the rafters in the attic, and you start to listen to what people are really saying when they move towards or away from you.

Lame House 2008.

***

5 comments:

Chicky Wang said...

oh man, i love that chapbook.

Todd Colby said...

Lovely review. I want I want!

Julia Cohen said...

Hope you nab a copy from Lame House.

I know that Greenstreet talks about the deer in her lap, but it's hard for me not to see the deer as any human, which I think she intends, and which complicates the dynamic beyond animal instincts. The intense impulse to extend oneself in a way that is both tender and terrifying. It's both the intellectualizing of potential outcomes (getting scratched) and the gut reaction to make yourself vulnerable to comfort the Other.

Todd Colby said...

That concept reminds me very much of Levinas--I'm currently rereading many of his works so everything is pleasantly tinged with his perspective.

Chicky Wang said...

the deer equals people i know, too.