Thursday, May 03, 2007

I am reading Elaine Equi's new and selected: Ripple Effect, from Coffee House. It's a fascinating read. Equi has great humor, wit, and intelligence. Here are poems that are aphoristic and intricate and edgy all at once. And I love seeing the span of her writing from over 30 years. Here's a taste (from newer work):


Take Herrick
for melancholy

for clarity

for nerve

(pg 137)


Bent Orbit

I wind my way across a black donut hole
and space that clunks.
Once I saw on a stage,
as if at the bottom of a mineshaft,
the precise footwork
of some mechanical ballet.
It was like looking into the brain
of a cuckoo clock and it carried
some part of me away forever.
No one knows when they first see a thing,
how long its after image will last.
Proust could stare at the symptom of a face
for years, while Frank O'Hara, like anyone with a job,
was always looking at his watch.
My favorite way of remembering is to forget.
Please start the record of the sea over again.
Call up a shadow below the pendulum of a gull's wing.
In a city of eight million sundials, nobody has any idea
how long a minute really is.

(pg 69)


It's a strong book. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

RJGibson said...

Thanks for posting this. I'd read "Prescription" a few years ago but forgot the author. You rock.