Don't forget to stop by the Four Faced Liar tomorrow for a NaPoWriMo Reading.
Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
at the Four Faced Liar
165 West Fourth Street
(between 6th Ave and Christopher Street, on the Cornelia Street end).
But I got to walk to the reading past a block full of wisteria trees and lilac bushes and ornamental cherries. O delicious people who own entire Chelsea rowhouses; the richness of your spirit -- long-nourished by your ability to afford track-lighting, chrome fixtures, and landscaping -- can only be imagined, but poorly, by those as afflicted as me.
Standing-room only by the time I showed up, to hear ribald tales of love-in-rugs, of fascists who hold dinner parties for fall guys, of priests with unique vows, and of repeated interruptions. Then questions were taken, and they tended to either be "Is it true that . . .," or "insert lengthy and somewhat academic point here."
Then it was over and I used my mighty and lawyerly powers of aggression to get relatively high up in the book-signing line. That done, I chatted for a bit with Gary and Shanna and then took off into the night, stopping to buy a big old chunk o' cake from Billy's Bakery. Pretty good, but not as good as mom's. Much better than those Italian pasty shops, though, where everything looks fantastic, but tastes like plastic. Bleh! Plastic.
Today I took a Michael Schiavo poem ran it through Babelfish, translated it into Russian, and then wrote a new poem out of it. Huzzah.
The New Switcheroo
than familiar terrain turned
First you ask
why the magazine racks
out of the den, why
the dish of walnuts
has turned to burnished clay.
But then you get comfy,
get to liking
the barn swallows
instead of canaries.
When they sing, it's Mahler.
There's food, too.
There's wives and salves
and well-worn Bibles.
They're all yours now.
Meanwhile, who's busy
being the old and wifeless
you? Nibbling walnuts.
Reading People. Asking canaries
what they think
about painting the mantel green.
[UPDATE: Remember how I was whining about the blatant racism of The Japanese Lovers? Well, the unruly servant found another racist poem, and I think this one is making fun of Norskies! Or Italians? I can't even tell!]
[UPDATE UPDATE: Italians, I think. I got confused with all the snow. Here's everyone's favorite silly Norskie "poem."]
Take this white cake of paper, sheet by sheet,
And draw roses down each page. Sleep dryly
Lip to penciled lip, petal to penciled petal, and
Make your dreams more careful. Let the spears
Fall from your eyes, the rain that would have
Been your supper scud away in thickening
Clouds along the treeline. Your hair is down,
Dear one, and the silver roses you once drew
Will bare themselves now that you are calm
Before your storms, will open, page by page.
Elisabeth McGlynn says that we should do this:
"...tomorrow The Brian Lehrer Show is having an open phones poetry "slam" at 11am. It's not a true slam. Instead it's a phone in segment to end Nat'l poetry month. The piece you read can be
as long as 2 minutes or as short as a haiku. You should call in, yo. And tell yo friends to call in!! (212 267 9692 (or 212 267 WNYC)@ 11am on Wed. April 27th)"
Summer of the Shark
Tomatoes in the cheerios -- a cool
and retrospective summer. We dug clams,
created mix tapes, agreed on who ruled
the best airwaves of our salty hearts. Cram
some flavor ice in, and as you said, "Soon,
you'll have some kind of notion." We were free,
or so illusioned, and the sand at noon-
tide snaffled our toes in joy. Terribly
experimental loves bloomed, only then
to wrap us in raccoon coats and ennui.
Light to the west fading round us, omen
of time's unpleasant endings. Dark sea
birds ringed the shore. Black fins rose in swells.
We echoed sharply, like abandoned wells.