To console myself about not attending AWP, I took advantage of this awesome deal at Action Books, so now I have these beauties winging their way to me through Priority Mail:
Wet Land, Lucas de Lima
Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream, Kim Hyesoon
Rain of the Future, Valerie Mejer
Only Jesus Could Icefish in the Summer, Abraham Smith
I intend to write at least one review out of this bunch, and I realize I could have requested review copies for free, but I like supporting presses that publish great writing. Abe Smith also happens to be an XFA from Alabama, and I always try to buy any Bama warblings that come on the market. But I’m excited most entirely because of the writing in these four books. I can’t wait. I’m going to light a candle and put my feet up and drink tea and read all the way through AWP weekend.
My eyes are a little crossed from working on a review—my first assigned review, which is both exciting [because I read something I wouldn’t have otherwise, before it was actually released] and less exciting [because I have particular writer-crushes that I want to shout to the world, and I have to wait on those]. So naturally, because I can’t think straight enough to write without extensive use of em-dashes and bracketed asides, I turned to my blog to write even more. Just to tell you how crossed my eyes are. [They’re very crossed.] [ What ] is going on
is how I feel—after this kind of work and I [LOVE] it.
How scared God must have been
when the woman who ate all the fruit of the tree he’d planted
was cutting out each red body from
between her legs
The sky, the wound that opens every morning
when a red head is cut out
between the fat red legs of the cloud
(Does that blood live inside me?)
(Do I live inside that blood?)
– Kim Hyesoon
I just love how sad this little cockroach is. His tiny clasped hands.
[drawing by Emily Conner]
I keep getting invited to attend AWP off-site readings, and friends are discussing travel plans and the recent no-public-access-to-the-book-fair revelation, and I’m a little sad because I can’t go to AWP this year. I love wandering around the book fair, being in among the physical objects of writing. I love guessing who’s who at the hotel bar. I love sitting at the BWR table and talking up the journal. I even love sitting at the BWR table and getting personally queried about submissions. And I was so looking forward to eating sushi for every meal. I have a bookmarks folder just for Seattle Sushi Restaurants.
Life I love in me
Luster of this world that fills me
I complete my own picture by knowing how to stay in the frame
Nature supplies the medium
Of which I am
Of which I am
Of which I am
– Ariana Reines
I just finished Mercury, finally, and now I’d like to read it over again. The last section makes me think about heredity/liquids/art/mediums/wombs in a way that affects my reading of the earlier sections. It strikes me how much the form of this book is like a family saga—in length and in the use of sections, but also in collecting all the small parts, working against wastefulness, family as a synonym for excess and overflow. I’d like to be as honest and unafraid of blood.
This is a lovely morning and the second issue of La Vague just went live and it’s as gorgeous as the first issue and there are bees and ghostly-looking ladies, my favorite, and I’m very excited and proud of this one, because these are the first poems from my thesis that are living out in the world, shyly turning their heads away, hoping you’ll follow the slight bend in their necks.