This next week is going to be exciting, though. I'm traveling to the east end of the Upper Peninsula to give a reading in Sault Ste. Marie and meet some old and new friends. It's going to be a mini family vacation. I'm looking forward to a couple days off, devoted to poetry and summer fun.
A few years ago, it seems that I was preoccupied with leftovers--food and poetry . . .
July 10, 2014: The Dump, Poetry Dump, Leftovers
Below the apple orchard, at the end of a path, was the dump where Mr. Zuckerman threw all sorts of trash and stuff that nobody wanted any more. Here, in a small clearing hidden by young alders and wild raspberry bushes, was an astounding pile of old bottles and empty tin cans and dirty rags and bits of metal and broken bottles and broken hinges and broken springs and dead batteries and last month's magazines and old discarded dishmops and tattered overalls and rusty spikes and leaky pails and forgotten stoppers and useless junk of all kinds, including a wrong-size crank for a broken ice-cream freezer.
OK, please try to recover from the shock of this paragraph. Yes, E. B. White is describing a place where the Zuckerman's simply dump all of their shit in the middle of the woods. Dead batteries. Old magazines. Broken bottles. It sounds like a setting from Wall-E, not Charlotte's Web.
The reason I chose to start with this passage is because I submitted more poems for publication tonight. I basically chose poems that I thought no editor would ever dream of publishing. Stuff that I loved writing but probably belongs in some kind of poetry dump along with all the bad dirty limericks ever found on bathroom walls. The leftovers.
I love leftovers. As a kid, I always liked the B-side of records. I once ate shrimp with lo mein for an entire week. And I like obscure books and poems. Offbeat stuff. "The Pope's Penis" by Sharon Olds--my favorite poem of all time. It's strange, weird, surprising. The kind of thing you would find growing under a tree stump in a poetry dump.
I'm glad I took a chance tonight.
Saint Marty's been playing it safe way too long.
|I think there's a poem underneath that bottle|
Guitar lifts, runs, falls, trips over
My naked body, taps along arm,
Reaches down back, into vertebrae,
Makes juices flow and jump, my horn
Riff the air, sway, heavy now, light now,
My mind still with my wife in bed,
Her curves, hot breath, parted lips,
Ready for the jazz of fingers, bebop
Of hands on her skin, rhythm, bass
On breast, thigh, nipple, neck,
Mardi Gras of body on body, tongue
On her reed, slick music in mouth,
Passed from my tenor to her alto,
Her trumpet to my trombone,
Until we're jamming, unable to tell
Me from her, her from me, our voices
Rising, like Jesus on Easter morning,
Filling the world with sound, sweet sound,
Louie, Ella, Duke, Charlie, yeah, Bird,
Chasing Bird all the way to paradise. Yeah.