Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I Said Lean!
Last night I attended the Moira Egan and Jeffrey Levine reading at Chapters bookstore. This is one of my favorite venues in the city. Perhaps because it reminds me of Mac's Backs in Coventry (that's Cleveland for those of you non-buckeyes). I think what I like is that this series makes one feel at home--it's a bit more intimate than Politics and Prose and the readers are less avant garde (unless you count Moira's glasses, which would make this series the most...love a woman with fabulous glasses). Moira read some of her crown sonnets (where the last line of one begins the next) and it really made me want to try the form. I also loved her sonnet about her friend who collects heart shaped stones. Definitely will be reading her new book, Cleave. After Moira came Jeffrey and though he didn't read as many sex poems except the one where there's some fuck fuck fuck a man chorus (want to see that one on the page) he was equally captivating, especially with his dog and Adam and Eve poems. After the reading over drinks he was relentless about seeing some of my work which he proceeded to hack up. He told me I was always using location as a way to enter my poems and that I should really think about cutting first lines and the word the. Perhaps this is why Stevens ends a poem with the the, but seriously even though I thought it quite forward of him---circumsizing poems right away, it made me really think about where I can pare down narrative and let language work her magic. When I say that Jeffrey Levine is a butcher, I mean it in the way that you can liken a butcher to a sculptor and though Ramona will be asking me to step outside later, no one could convince me that a filet mignon is anything less than art. It's time I ordered my poems more lean.