Thursday, April 5, 2007

Here's the Lowdown for You, Aaron ...

While awaiting anxiously and likely creepily watching Tony Hoagland and Dean Young before the reading at the Chicago Public Library, I decided to make it kind of like you were sharing the experience with me, Aaron ... so I did a little freewrite of my thoughts and feelings in the moments leading up to THE READING.

Here Tis:

Tony Hoagland's wearing a bright-colored, button-down shirt -- swimming pool blue -- and a vest, brown, maybe corduroy. He's looks cute, wise, and sweet but shorter than I ever would have thought he was.

Dean Young's sporting a vest, too. Like a suit vest with the satin along the back ... and jeans ... he looks a little like a displaced cowboy. Maybe a banker who lost his pants and shoes but still had to show up in something at the banquet. Something ... I like it.

It's quite wonderful, Aaron ... I look around me now and everyone's reading poetry. This makes the world soften to me. At least right now. I will enjoy completely this coming hour or so.

Dean Young looks exactly as he does in his author photos. And so does Tony Hoagland, just shorter. I wish you were here. But I know each of us have glorious days coming, many of them, and we will likely enjoy some of them at least in the same time zone.

And I wonder why this girl sat down right next to me when there were lots of empty seats ... so now I battle for the elbow room I need to write this and now have that need to do that hide-with-hand thing ... hiding what you've written while you write so no one can read it.

Li Young Lee is also here. I saw him read in Kalamazoo at The Little Theater. I think I told you about it -- how sensual I felt after hearing his long and lux poem about furniture and erotic visions. He was beautiful that night and even the smirks from a clique of former colleagues could not stiffle me, or ruin me that night. It was like some post-coital moment ... unwieldy and wondrous. And I wrote so much that night ... a curdled and commingled love and fear and passion in the upper right corner of my heart and the lower left of my spleen. I know this reading will be at least that but maybe more.

Your time right now is 4:00 while mine is 6:00. Real time.

So many (I mean a good 30 out of a total of 60-70 people) women have super-curly, untamed hair ... why is that, Aaron? So many "literary" women now have super-curly hair ... it is a strange and tiny trend.

Later I will write about the fascinating things they both had to say about the craft of poetry and the writing life in general ... but here is a little taste.

Hoagland said people come to poetry for different reasons, and the main two reasons are to seek a truth and deep meaning while the others come to it for a love of language and a desire to have fun with it. He said, and I agree, that the Truth-seeker readers (me) need to do more of what the Language-lover readers do (you?) and vice versa. Tonight I plan on some big fun with Dean Young's Embryoyo!

Aaron, Be loved and Be an infidel ... well, if you want to.


Poet with a Day Job said...

I found this entry through a Poetry Thursday participant's link to you - I love it: especially the curly hair trend idea. Terrific recap.

Anhedonia said...

Glad you enjoyed the entry ... that curly hair thing is strange but true. When I was in grad school, two of the writing profs had this type of hair. Some weird writing voodoo?

Love the kitty! What's his/her name? I have 2 -- Seamus and Hortense.

So are you a fan of Hoagland and Young? Like John Berryman? Robert Lowell? Just curious. I am poetry-lonely these days.

greg rappleye said...

Great post. Tony Hoagland and Dean Young are a great team, and are two of my favorite poets. I wish I had been there!

Anhedonia said...

Thanks for your comment, Greg! I will check out "sonnets at 4a.m." for certain! Since you seem to have an interest in contempory poetry ... my first collection, Small Murders was released in October 2006 from New Issues Press. My website ... as my latest entry here attests is ...

Any poetry venues in Grand Haven? I am always looking for places to possibly have a reading.

greg rappleye said...


Ummm...yes. I DO seem to have an interest in contemporary poetry!

Congratulations on your book. I've just ordered a copy. We do have a good independent bookstore in Grand Haven that occasionally sponsors readings:

The Bookman
715 Washinton Avenue
Grand Haven, MI 49417

(616) 846-3520

I don't think they have a website.

All the best,

Greg Rappleye

Anhedonia said...

Thanks, Greg ... for ordering my book and also about the bookstore in Grand Haven.

Let me know what you think about Small Murders!

Take Care.