Last night, I should have been attending this reading at Open Books:
Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 07:30 PM
(from the website)
Modern Life ($14 Graywolf), Matthea Harvey’s third collection, lives up to its title with a vengeance. This is “modern life” at the intersection of mythology and genetic engineering. Her writing is surprising: wild, lovely, and lyrically descriptive (“I marveled at the maple syrup moon –- / it had a luster unlike any linoleum”), yet grounded in the confusing nightmare of an on-going apocalypse. Harvey’s poems and prose poems are neither simple nor sweet, and, oh, they get under the skin. In the sections “The Future of Terror” and “Terror of the Future,” the poetry takes place in the decrepit aftermath of some off-stage conflict. The speaker in those poems survives in a surreal landscape, a survival certainly requiring wit – “I even invented / a motto for myself: Never Say Mayday / When There’s Still Marzipan.” Sadness, fear, pitch-dark humor, and the drive to soldier on through grim and tedious mayhem come to life in this startlingly singular collection.
Instead I was watching this:
I am sure there is a circle in hell waiting for the likes of me.