Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can't wait can't wait can't wait

I was looking at Brown's Literary Arts calendar today and saw that Lydia Davis is coming to Providence! That goddess may be walking among us in October.

Then I saw that, of course, all the Brown readings are on Tuesdays or Thursdays in the middle of the day. Which is great, if you're a student. And which sucks if you are even mildly pretending to have a real life.

Which is why (back to propaganda--this is site is nothing but propaganda, as you know), it is so great to have these readings at Abe's, on a Sunday, at 6:30. Anyone can amble in (or drive down from Boston) and listen to great stuff. The first reading of the fall is one I've been looking forward to all freaking summer because it's four poets, and NONE OF THEM WILL BE BORING. Really. Or I'll buy you a drink. These are poets, who, in ten years, Brown Literary Arts will probably be inviting to their series, and by then, their formidable talents will be known to all and none of us will have the courage to approach them. But now, they're young and brilliant, and you could come see them read and maybe buy them a drink and so be able to say in 2020 that you heard them when... Janaka Stucky, Dorothea Lasky, Brian Foley, Emily Pettit.

I've also sort of (translation: very much) been looking forward to buying one of those Manhattans that they make at Abe's, to kind of kick off the autumn. And so, building on a loose connection between the name of a drink and the name of a hallowed magazine that occasionally has great poetry, here is a poem by one of September's readers, Dorothea Lasky, originally published in The New Yorker.


by Dorothea LaskyFEBRUARY 15, 2010

I remember he was bent down
Like a whirlpool
I was yelling at him
He looked scared and backed away
Another time, I squinted my eyes to see
And he said I looked ugly
The funny part was when
My sister asked me where he went to
And I just didn’t know
He just disappeared one day into nothing
I am rotting and rancid
Each day, rotting, but I am water, too
I am a watery nymph that is hot and wet
Like a wetted beast
I saw the man walking, hunched over
And thought it was him
“Father!” I yelled after the man
Who was hunched, he was going somewhere
He turned but the face was green
It is a black life, but I don’t want to die
I don’t want to die, I don’t ever want to die
God damn you, don’t you shoot me in my sleep
Let me rot on this earth forever
Like a carrot I will be everything God can’t see
Oh, what do I mean
God can see everything
I mean the angels, I mean the half-gods
I mean the flowers, don’t ever let them see me live forever
Don’t you ever let them see
That I am all root here in the ground