Subversive Poetry Reading at the Local Library

Mother and DaughterSo it wasn’t a great turnout. I believe there was a fish fry/ revival that pulled a lot of our regular members away…or not. However some folks showed up and we talked poetry. We read Elizabeth Bishop’s In the Waiting Room and then Addonizio’s Salmon. Had a nice discussion about that sweet moment where we are the fish, we are the ceiling, we are Teddy pouring the milk and the milk being poured. Why are some poets successful in getting us to make that leap, to see ourselves in other people or other objects even, and others…not? We read the Red Dress poem and I think that was a favorite. Talked a little Literary Theory and then we all went home. I kicked about reading more Elizabeth Bishop for the rest of the day and dreamed about talking fish that night. Another day in Cheyenne.

Published in: on March 20, 2007 at 4:22 pm  Comments (1)  


by Kim Addonizio
In this shallow creek

they flop and writhe forward as the dead 

float back toward them. Oh, I know

what I should say: fierce burning in the body 

as her eggs burst free, milky cloud 

of sperm as he quickens them. I should stand

on the bridge with my camera, 

frame the white froth of rapids where one 

arcs up for an instant in its final grace.

But I have to go down among 

the rocks the glacier left 

and squat at the edge of the water

where a stinking pile of them lies, 

where one crow balances and sinks 

its beak into a gelid eye.

I have to study the small holes 

gouged into their skin, their useless gills, 

their gowns of black flies. I can't

make them sing. I want to, 

but all they do is open 

their mouths a little wider

so the water pours in 

until I feel like I'm drowning. 

On the bridge the tour bus waits

and someone waves, and calls down 

It's time, and the current keeps lifting 

dirt from the bottom to cover the eggs.
Published in: on March 2, 2007 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

This Saturday

I tried to pick up a copy of Tell Me at the Library and…they were all gone.  I think Troy said they had 12? in stock so our Saturday discussion at the library will not be me reading to the wall.  While I can not hope to compete with say, the Union Pacific train watchers, I do hope to compete with the Humanities book discussion series…we can do better than that.  In my dream, we form two rival gangs, Humanities Book Group on one side of the street, Literary Connection on the other.  We eschew their 80’s ripped jean, dangling bandana effect for a more classic Ponyboy cum Brando appearance, all silent elegance and deadly cool till you catch the  gleam of our blades under the dim glow of the one streetlight that’s not been smashed out…No.  We won’t, positively won’t rumble with rival book discussion groups.  We may whisper though that we have a lovely turnout at ours.  I’ll put more Kim poems up and if you can’t make it on Saturday, post comments regardless.


Published in: on March 1, 2007 at 1:34 pm  Comments (1)  

What Do Women Want?

“What Do Women Want?”  
by Kim Addonizio
I want a red dress. 

I want it flimsy and cheap, 

I want it too tight, I want to wear it 

until someone tears it off me. 

I want it sleeveless and backless, 

this dress, so no one has to guess 

what's underneath. I want to walk down

the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store 

with all those keys glittering in the window, 

past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old 

donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers 

slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly, 

hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders. 

I want to walk like I'm the only 

woman on earth and I can have my pick. 

I want that red dress bad.

I want it to confirm 

your worst fears about me, 

to show you how little I care about you 

or anything except what 

I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment 

from its hanger like I'm choosing a body 

to carry me into this world, through 

the birth-cries and the love-cries too, 

and I'll wear it like bones, like skin, 

it'll be the goddamned 

dress they bury me in.
Published in: on February 27, 2007 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment