While I had the enforced blog (and indeed, internet entire vacation) I read a book I had been wanting to get my hands on for years, The Salt Ecstasies, by James L. White. I'd read many essays and articles referencing White's only volume of poetry, but had never been able to get my hands on a copy. This year, however, Graywolf Press re-issued the book, with a fascinating introduction by Mark Doty, and some extra material not found in the original printing, including two poems Doty discovered in White's papers at L.A.'s One Archive, a collection of papers of gay and lesbian artists.
White's book is a gospel of loneliness, and desire. It feels very contemporary, though published originally in the early 1980s. That he published only this slim volume in his lifetime is sad; that it is again widely available is a gift.
"When you return to something you love,
It's already broken beyond repair.
You wear it broken."
--the last stanza of "Lying in Sadness."
In other news, I am reading with several other poets this Friday, April 8 at 7 PM at The Center on Halsted as part of National Poetry Month celebrations. The full details here.