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Poetry Hit

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Apr. 16th, 2007 | 01:12 pm

A week of poetry festival is a little bit of paradise come early.

To add extra whip cream to the week of sundaes, I got my Comstock Review in the mail too. It's the 20th Anniversary Awards issue no less.

How in the world will I get anything else done with my attention so captivated by all this poetry?

At the festival, all these book titles to peruse, getting high on the deckle-cut edges, glossy matte embossed font and bindings, the ideas presented, cross-connection findings, all the social. Then the main events -- the interviews. There was the interview with George Murray and his memorable way to describe how you know when satire works, the wince first then laugh. And poetry live. It's always so different live. I don't know why it always surprises me that it does.

Past Poet Laureate, George Bowering, in person is far different than I expected. Far more entertaining. I don't know who or where I read or what I read of his to get my vague impression but it's been nudged shoved upwards considerably. Now I want his latest book. (Appetite, whatever will we do with you.)

Here's a picture of one bit, the poet panel in the cabaret hosted and structured by Stephen Brockwell, with George Bowering and George Murray of Bookninja.com (who I have one book of but now I want his sonnets or was it these*) and rob mclennan who for the sake of uniformity, can be renamed George as well. Wouldn't that be curious. (And yes I will be compelled to buy the ">rest of his books too.)

*Note to self: must figure out what I want. My appetite is bigger than my bank account. As big of constraint might be how much I can absorb. But life is long. And the only press is internal. Well, and the AP of course.

Having been held over for live poetry from recorded videos, such as PoetryVlog it's rather like tomatoes coming into season again after a season when the most scent and flavor comes from the stems of the ripened-on-vine ones. There have been poetry live readings lately of course but the density of poetry is different in every sense.

--

It's an odd sensation to open books I know I've opened before and got from them before, basically that here is previous-tree with scratchings on it with ink and remember being vexed or blank-eyed and then a few years later open the same pages and "get it".

It's quite odd. I wonder if it's like being a toddler who can reach a shelf now. Except what was at crawling eye level isn't accessible in the same way.

I want to just widen my palate but find I shift instead. I get restless. I have made a new arbitrary rule (or is that redundant) for poetry. I will no longer give a few second's flick of my eyes for any poem entitled cloud or sparrow. The chance of something good coming from there is just too low.

But I want to like every poem, the way I want every person I like to love each other.

Remember those cream horns? When I was small every week I'd hope for a treat of one and some months I did. I'd lick all the big sugar crystals off and feel the puff pastry apart layer by layer, savoring the sweetened cream. I had one a few years ago as an adult and it was saccharine and the pastry made a fat slick on my tongue. Of course when I was small, grapefruit and oranges and brussels sprouts were unbearably sour and white sauce was blank bland compared to those sugar crystals that pop on your tongue. I want to appreciate the cream horn and the citrus. One follows one's bliss out onto a tightrope sometimes.

Which probably makes no sense and is entirely too editorial. And didn't I say I had too much to do? No? I should have. Time for other things.

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