I'm going slightly crazy with planning events and promoting events and structuring and taking care of events at my job, where I coordinate the things going on in a children's department in an independent bookstore. Yesterday I got to meet director, writer, and producer Chris Columbus--he directed Home Alone, and wrote Gremlins, as well as directing the first two Harry Potter movies. He was at our bookstore promoting his new book House of Secrets. We were lucky enough to have a big crowd, mostly due to the fact that he has a lot of family in the Chicago area.
So I've been crazy busy, and expect to stay that way until mid-May at least. Tonight I reached into my book bag that I carry everywhere with me, and found Lisa Jarnot's new book of selected poems, Joie de Vivre. I'd forgotten that some kind book rep had sent it to me, and that I'd put it in the bag. It's from City Lights books, so it's one of those handsome little volumes like Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems or Allen Ginsberg's Howl. And man oh man I love Jarnot's work. I love the sound of it, the beauty of the sound, the flow on the page, absurdity into beauty and back to absurd again. She makes me want to dare more, veer more, and sing better in my own work. Here's a section of Sea Lyrics:
I am here inside the freezer where you left me, I am the unobstructed silence of the avocado dawn, I am the neighborhood of foreign things, I am the telemarketer of evening, I have only donuts and the doors are locked, I am as thick as the morning down on Broadway, I am walking near the freeway as it shakes, I am the overpass and shattered in the midst of day, I am the last of the partially submerged vehicles on the waterfront on Sunday buying jam.
See? If you need a prompt, just write "I am..." and begin. Make it new, make it wander, make it leap across a stage, make it sing.
In other news, I am reading at The Book Cellar this Thursday with friends and fellow poets Jen Besemer and Richard Fox. I think I am going to read almost all new works from my book-in-progress of letter poems.