Kim Addonizio, Elizabeth Bishop and Fugazi

Why talk about Salmon, In the Waiting Room and exclude Fugazi’s excellent paean to straight-edge angst, The Waiting Room?

Published in: on March 3, 2007 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today is the Day

We meet.  We discuss poetry.  We kibbutz.  I take pictures.  I post them so our far flung readers can see what a hip group of square-staters look like.  Black turtleneck sweaters and rectangular glasses are no longer de rigueur  for these events, although a beret is still considered wise.  Lets people know you’re serious.

I don’t want to give too much away because I want to write lots after the discussion but I am, as ever, in awe of good writing and how it leads us to discover new meaning in texts we’ve read a million times and every poem that is added to our conscience (well, not every poem; every good poem,) seems to deepen our understanding of even the most mundane daily activities, and fleeting emotions grow concrete and real when named so perfectly.  I am thinking of Elizabeth Bishop’s In the Waiting Room which is about waiting for an aunt to have her teeth fixed at the Dentist’s office.  If you write to tell me that no, it is about death, Zen existentialism and rebirth I will agree but will also insist that it is very much also about waiting in a dentist’s office for your aunt to have her teeth fixed.

We will be reading the Bishop poem with the Addonizio poem, Salmon.  In this way we can establish our high minded literary credentials before we go crashing headlong into all of the explicit sex, drinking and carousing of her other poems.  If you write to tell me that sex, drinking and carousing are base and have no business in poetry I will remind you that they are metaphors for death, Zen existentialism and rebirth.

Oh! Don’t I sound serious?  “I will remind you”?  Well, being defensive on behalf of poetry is probably the least of my sins and since we know that no less a figure than Stephen Dedalus  gets the snot beat out of him for defending that decedent atheist, Lord Byron, in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, we are in good company.

Hope to see lots of you this afternoon.  Hope to read lots of your brilliant comments later. Click below for a link to In the Waiting Room.

In the Waiting Room 

Published in: on March 3, 2007 at 5:33 pm  Comments (1)  

The Mermaids Sing to Me

Mermaid Song
by Kim Addonizio
         for Aya at fifteen 

Damp-haired from the bath, you drape yourself  
upside down across the sofa, reading,  
one hand idly sunk into a bowl 
of crackers, goldfish with smiles stamped on.  
I think they are growing gills, swimming  
up the sweet air to reach you. Small girl,  
my slim miracle, they multiply. 
In the black hours when I lie sleepless,  
near drowning, dread-heavy, your face  
is the bright lure I look for, love's hook  
piercing me, hauling me cleanly up.
Published in: on February 28, 2007 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment