21 September 2007

OOOOOklahoma

where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain

I always liked those first lines about the wind & the rain & my honey lem & i (which took me a long time to understand was not my honey lemon eye).

I was in Oklahoma for the last four and a half days, in the terrific company of Linda Russo, Jonathan Stallings, Michael Kelleher, Lori Kelleher, my mother Meryle Alexander, and several inquisitive and smart students from the University of Oklahoma. Mike Kelleher & I read together for SOUNDS OUT, a program of the Expository Writing Program of the Univ. of Oklahoma, at the invitation of Linda Russo. As a poet, I love the company of Mike & Linda, who are terrific poets. And meeting Jonathan was a great surprise, finding out he is an Arkansas spelunker and master of Chinese teas (or, at least as much a master as one is likely to find in the states ranging from oklahoma to arizona). I loved drinking various teas with him, and I think they prepared me well for my poetry reading.

From the ages of 11 to 18 all my friends were in Oklahoma. In the last 14 years I've had many friends (too many to count on two hands) from Buffalo New York, or who at least were in Buffalo long enough to be students or faculty members in the Poetics Program there. And on this past Tuesday at least, I had 3 Buffalo friends in Oklahoma. Accidental occurrence? or not . . .

Mike & I read in front of a commemorative Oklahoma football, white with beads on all the seams, a Native American work of art in a Native American art gallery. He read from his two books, and on the plane on the way home I read his magnificent book, HUMAN SCALE. I'll have more to say about that after introducing him, and hearing him again this Sunday in Tucson, where he will read with Tyrone Williams, for POG & Chax Press.

To Linda & to Jonathan: much love & thanks!

4 Comments:

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous jonathan said...

Not to be a master of tea but its master’s loyal taster! Not to know it but to under-stand it, to stand beneath its mystery in grateful wonder! Thank you so much for the reading, and I hope you are able to return to OK soon, as promised we will break out the pu’er teas, and speak poems somewhere beneath the karsk-scape: deep, cool, and darker than night.

 
At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Hugh Tribbey said...

Charles,

I enjoyed your and Mike's reading(s)& I hope you get to make it back this way soon. I didn't find the football distracting at all.

Best,
Hugh Tribbey

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger charles said...

Jonathan,
I should be back sometime during the holiday season. Will you be there?

Hugh, I didn't find the football distracting, either -- just a point of interest!

charles

 
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