The pamphlet was resting on his lap the night he and Robert attended the lecture by its author, the two sitting in the back of an auditorium of an Upper East Side school. The auditorium was full, the crowd largely female, divided into two general groups--rather affluent elderly women who may have had a real craving for an insight into the next world, and much younger, sharp-looking women, college students for the most part, Ives concluded...
At one point, Ives becomes a lecture junkie. He attends any talk given by spiritualists, reincarnationists, psychic societies, and holy men. He's searching for answers. After a near death experience, Ives experiences a mystical vision that he doesn't understand. Colored winds and spinning suns over Madison Avenue. Nothing from Ives' past unlocks the meaning of the vision. So Ives decides to explore any explanation, no matter how ridiculous. Thus, he finds himself in auditoriums, listening to presentations on astral projection and past lives and love in the hereafter. All in pursuit of truth.
I attended a "lecture" given by a friend of mine this evening. His new book was just released last month, so the local library invited him to read from it. Matthew Gavin Frank and The Mad Feast. Matt is a fantastic performer, and the room was packed. People were lined up along the back wall.
Matt teaches in the MFA program at the university. He teaches graduate classes in creative nonfiction and poetry. His books get reviewed in Entertainment Weekly and The Paris Review. Over Christmas break, he's traveling to Greece to participate in a conference. In the past three years, he's published three books.
It was a good night. I saw some friends that I hadn't seen in quite a while. I got to hear Matt tell some really good stories. The only thing missing was a little alcohol and pizza.
Saint Marty is tired. And hungry. Ready for a long winter's nap.
by: Peter Thabit Jones
Later, at the table,
From a stockpile of old thoughts,
A bundle of dry words
And yesterday's dark news,
A poem catches fire.
Off the Top of My Head