Lost 15: the blockflöte clarabel crust
everything i know she said putting the yogurt back in the fridge half-eaten my mom or my granny vox humana taught me in a moving morgue equipped with foresight, a crust of different thicknesses over the ooze, a vehicle; she was packing the touch of a moth. the feeling now, cloud of bats erst of bees gulp of cormorants covert of coots bench of bishops blush of boys – the cough tickle of a firm ground in life, blockflöte clarabel flute variant. yes, yes, a semiautomatic pistol and a revolver, the newborn discovered still alive in its coffin in the funeral parlour gloria steinem’s I do not like to write – I like to have written and the butterflies’ wet wrigglings from their luminous jade cases; diapason backbone 8′ on a manual the note an attenuated amen that stands in the cold air, hangs in the branches of pines, interrupts a communion of rabbits and the operation, just like your fuckin’ mother: the police go in, find in her home four pounds of/ good judgement a/ witty conversationalist and/ (line endings thanks to john barton) a hilltop lost in mist heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;/ in life, in death, O lord, abide with me
The italicized last lines from Abide With me, hymn by Henry Francis Lyte, 1847.
And with his permission, a critical comment from Grant Savage on yesterday’s poem:
Lots of interesting material. Like your poem. Particularly struck by the line “When he was young and paunchless” (but not punchless). Heart and paunch growing … arteries shrinking! Would particularly agree with the idea that the intellectual public fears emotion (and happiness) however well expressed. You can get as sexual as you want, name all the fluids and body parts, as long as you’re not too happily involved in them. Perhaps a residue of (English) Canada’s excessively and exaggeratedly Victorian (colonial) antecedents. By the way, it did strike me as good, your today’s poem Claudia, but a little darker and more serious … without some of the bright almost silly (happy?) moments of some of your others. Grant.
Comments are most welcome, favourable or not. Arguments are good too!
In today’s mail grain magazine, (attractive cover!), and on first dig, poems that look like they will interest me, like Tim Bowling’s first place poem in the Short Grain Contest. The judge was Jeremy Dodds, and the prizewinners somewhat reflect his own edgy work, but not completely. A good selection, the bar high in this contest.
Also got from Turtle Light Press, a beautiful anthology, Nick Virgilio: A Life in Haiku. Edited by Raffael de Gruttola, afterword by Kathleen O’Toole. The book design is gorgeous, making me even more eager to read these poems by an American haiku master. Now all I need is the time to read, but I’ll fit that in. As the blog says, all I do is write, write, write, and read.
Another package today from Scrivener Press, who printed Haiku Canada’s 35th Members’ Anthology, Touch of a Moth. I opened it to find bookmarks to go with the books, (that are sitting here behind a living room chair in cartons until our Haiku Canada Weekend in May) complete in themselves as little artworks.
A note: April 19 Is Holocaust Remembrance Day
This was on facebook from the New Yorker:
(I imagine poets who are asked for blurbs must sometimes feel the same about it. Once I asked someone, and he frankly said that he never wrote blurbs, though he loved my poems. Ah, we’re caught, poor poets, between ever more closely enclosing walls)
April 17, 2012 (I’m cutting it down, but the whole article is terrific…)
Blurb Your Enthusiasm
Posted by Adam Mansbach
So you’d be honored if I blurbed your book? Me too! I can hardly wait to dive right in. However, due to the overwhelming number of requests I receive, I have instituted a new, comprehensive pricing system. Before proceeding, please consult this chart for reference.
You are under twenty-five. (+$100)
This is your first book. (+$100)
This is your first book in a decade. (+$150)
You’re still using the author photo from your “promising début.” (+$75)
I know you. (-$50)
I met you once. (-$20)
We made out at a party. (+$25)
We were once published in an anthology together. (+$75)
You are making this request live on the air during the only NPR interview of my career. (+$125)
The first word of your two-word title is a gerund. (+$75)
The word after the gerund in your two-word title is a proper noun masquerading as a regular noun, i.e. “Losing Ground,” a novel about a man named Peter Ground. (+$250)
Your novel is a retelling of another novel from the perspective of a minor character, a piece of furniture, or a magical being who did not appear in the original. (+$275)
You are a former spoken-word artist. (+$325)
You are my former student. (-$5)
You have attached a PDF of your entire manuscript to this e-mail. (+$300)
You have an M.F.A. (+$100)
From a low-residency program. (-$100)
Now count up your total.
Got it? Add $25,000.
Thank you for your request. The answer is no.
Illustration by Philippe Petit-Roulet.