Had a great time at the Frye reading last night. Dean and I met up with Rebecca and Lesley and a few others at the Sorrento first, for drinks and a snack and a pretty intense discussion about the current state of politics (that idiot Palin, McCain's debate shenannigans, Obama needing to fight back more).
Lesley and I also toasted that we were both recently named finalists! for the Washington State Book Award . Me for What's Written on the Body, and her for Jezebel (alas, always a bridesmaid . . .).
I think my poems written in response to Willie Coles' artwork went over pretty well, especially "High Heeled Shoes" and the Pledge of Allegiance anagrams ("The Pile of Glad Elegance: (A)versions of the pledge"). Lesley's story about the Gabriel Von Max High Romantic painting of a woman nailed a cross was riveting. OMG -- the details about crucifixion, told in first person, especially the "balding" that was done first (the ripping of the hair from the scalp), were horrifying. A far cry from the serene scene of the idealized painting. I will not be able to look at this kind of art the same way again.
Check out this fascinating article on the Poetry Foundation website. I want to get the book (re-released after 30+ years). His poem quoted here, in the voice of the ancient Egyptian girl about to be mummified, was amazing.
"The Rebirth of a Suicidal Genius"
Thomas James, a Roethke Prizewinning devotee of Sylvia Plath, died obscure in 1974. Now Graywolf republishes his lost, legendary Letters to a Stranger, and Lucie Brock-Broido explains her 30-year search for his poetry.
by Lucie Brock-Broido
Top ten cereals:
5. Fiber One
6. Special K
7. Lucky Charms
9. Smart Start
What do you eat?
For me it's Life, Special K, sometimes Cheerios, and sometimes something sweet like Honey Bunches of Oats or Sugar Smacks. (Dean just calls the last one my "Smack.")