Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Bookseller
3311 Tittabawassee Rd.
Saginaw , MI 48603
Who should comeJoin us if you love poetry or are curious as to what poetry is all about. Join us if you'd like to talk to people whose hearts and minds are more open than closed. Join us if you can agree or disagree with someone's opinion respectfully. Bring a book if you can. It’s OK if it’s from your library. Note: Dorianne Laux will not be joining our group.
Find out what poems sound like out loud. Listen in on the group and then find a place where you can jump in and read something yourself. Great fun for the whole family. If you have specialized knowledge regarding our poet, do not hesitate to regale us with your story. Don't expect to leave our event with a definitive understanding of the poet or the poems but please do seek to experience and communicate the joys of poetry with others. Join us as we talk about the craftsmanship of poems, the effect(s) of the poems and how those effects are achieved. Better readers make better writers. Visit with our group as we read poems we know and love and poems we are just discovering. Everyone's poetry is valued if not appreciated. If you have a smile to share be sure to bring it; otherwise be prepared to leave with one on your face and in your heart. If you're too far away to join us, create your own Birthdays of Poets Reader’s Workshop. Speak up now and forever share your peace. Tell (bring!) a friend.
How to find the organizer(s)We are in the Poetry section, near the window that affords a view of Tittabawassee Road. The staff at Barnes & Noble will put up a sign that says 'This space reserved for The River Junction Poets at 7 p.m.' We'll be getting a few folding chairs to add around the coffee table there.
DetailsFor this installment of the Read Write Poem Poet Interview, I [Dana Guthrie Martin] interviewed Dorianne Laux via e-mail. I had the pleasure of meeting Laux the summer of 2006 when she was teaching at The Tomales Bay Workshops Writers’ Conference.
- You can find Lewis Hyde’s The Gift at www.lewishyde.com/pub/gift.html.
HOW IT WILL HAPPEN, WHEN
curled up on the couch, the floor, at the foot of the bed,
at what the body is capable of, not believing you can cry
underwear, and your winter gloves, all in a loose pile
Someday, years from now, things will be different:
shining, sun coming in easily now, skimming across
an orange or watching a bird leap from the edge of the rooftop
in the air, only a moment before gathering the will to fly
You’ll be reading, and for a moment you’ll see a word
and you’ll ponder like a child discovering language.
and that’s when you’ll say it, for the first time, out loud: He’s dead.
when I turn the key in the ignition
and the radio comes on, sudden and loud,
something by Haydn, a diminishing fugue,
then backed the car out of the parking space
in the underground garage, maneuvering through
the dimly lit tunnels, under low ceilings,
following yellow arrows stenciled at intervals
on grey cement walls and I think of him,
moving slowly through the last
hard day’s of his life, I won't
turn it off, and I can't stop crying.
When I arrive at the tollgate I have to make
myself stop thinking as I dig in my pockets
for the last of my coins, turn to the attendant,
indifferent in his blue smock, his white hair
curling like smoke around his weathered neck,
and say, Thank you, like an idiot, and drive
into the blinding midday light.
Everything is hideously symbolic:
the Chevron truck, its underbelly
spattered with road grit and the sweat
of last night’s rain, the Dumpster
behind the flower shop, sprung lid
pressed down on the dead wedding bouquets—
even the smell of something simple, coffee
drifting from the open door of a café;
and my eyes glaze over, ache in their sockets.
For months now all I’ve wanted is the blessing
of inattention, to move carefully from room to room
in my small house, numb with forgetfulness.
To eat a bowl of cereal and not image him,
drawn thin and pale, unable to swallow.
How not to imagine the tumors
ripening beneath his skin, flesh
I have kissed, stroked with my fingertips,
pressed my belly and breasts against, some nights
so hard I thought I could enter him, open
his back at the spine like a door or a curtain
and slip in like a small fish between his ribs,
nudge the coral of his brain with my lips,
brushing over the blue coils of his bowels
with the fluted silk of my tail.
Death is not romantic. He is dying. That fact
is start and one-dimensional, a black note
on an empty staff. My feet are cold,
but not as cold as his, and I hate this music
that floods the cramped insides
of my car, my head, slowing the world down
with its lurid majesty, transforming
everything I see into stained memorials
to life—even the old Ford ahead of me,
its battered rear end thinned to scallops of rust,
pumping grim shrouds of exhaust
into the shimmering air—even the tenacious
nasturtiums clinging to a fence, stem and bloom
of the insignificant, music spooling
from their open faces, spilling upward, past
the last rim of the blue and into the back pool
of another galaxy. As if all that emptiness
were a place of benevolence, a destination,
a peace we could rise to.
open in the little stove of his heart. One day
he just let go and the birds stopped singing.
beloved teacher, cousin, a lover slipped from my life
the way a rope slithers from your grip, the ocean
folding over it, your fingers stripped of flesh. A deck
of spades laid down at last, his face thumbed to threads.
An ashtray full of pebbles on the window ledge, wave-beaten,
gathered at day’s end from a beach your mind has never left,
the cat’s black paw, the past shattered, the stones
rolled the their favorite-hidden places. Even the poets
the books of poetry, lost or stolen, left on airport benches,
shabby trade paperbacks of my childhood, the box
misplaced, the one suitcase that mattered crushed
of the carved wings and lilies from a headstone
outside Philadelphia, frosted gin bottles
stationed like soldiers on her grave:
Will Never Stop Singing.
to lay waste to the vocabularies of desire?
Each one came rushing through the rooms he left.
Mouths open. Last words flown up into the trees.
Expect more at the Birthdays of Poets Blog. Go now.
All best and see you Monday,
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Research indicates that better readers make better writers. Maybe this is why, in the Poet's Market, editors of literary magazines often recommend poets read more poetry. Are you not aware? You are a cultural event, and so is everyone else.