Thursday, November 20, 2003

First, read Stephanie's report.

Then I'll fill in about Chris Edgar as Stephanie suggested I do. Ok. You've read her report. Now about Chris Edgar:

So I've never seen Chris' work before. I've seen his book at SPD, but never picked it up. I only knew of him as half the editorial staff of the Hat. Last night Jordan introduced me to Chris and I found him to be a very very nice guy. I like nice people a lot. So after Sara and before Jordan, Chris got up to read at Canessa Park. I don't know where he began because by the time he finished with "Birthday," the first poem in his book, At Port Royal, I was so amorously lost in vertigo I didn't know what had happened. The standout, for me, was the poem "His Kind of Woman," written from the 1951 film of same title featuring one of my all time favorite actors, Robert Mitchum. Not to mention, Vincent Price, Jane Russel and Raymond Burr.

His Kind of Woman

Too much laughter in the dark
Can drive a man insane
Convince him to take a walk
In the park or just go
Out for a pack of cigarettes
Good trouble is hard to find
This could be the reason
We still stick together
After all these dog years
We stopped asking each
Other questions long ago
Certain things make no sense
While other things are still burning
Like a string of nights in Mexico
You must remember those
Or maybe not
Was it something I said
Or something in the water
Or the air, it was always the air
A certain color you could never
Put your finger on
However much you tried

This poem embodies the film in a beautiful way, behaving as if it were inside the film. It is inside the film, it's the dialogue in so condensed a form that you have seen the whole film after reading this poem.
Chris' poetry behaves ((somewhat), I don't want to get into trouble here) like nth generation NYSchool but is more lyrically aware than a significant portion of contemporary poetry. Hell, I'm going to read the book before writing myself into a corner.

"Llewellyn's mythical Roman past. Llewellyn's witchhunters. Llewellyn's Huguenots. Llewellyn reborn. Llewellyn and the rise of the whaling trade. Trade winds bless Llewellyn..."
--from "Pictures of Llewellyn"

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