01 March 2009

With Friends

I had been thinking, for a couple of days, that I just wanted to hang out with poets and talk. And then Peter Gizzi was in Tucson, so I picked him up Saturday morning, took him to Frank's for a great breakfast (eggs & chorizo for him, huevos rancheros for me), then back to Chax where we looked at printed works, read some of Olson aloud, and talked for what must have been, counting the breakfast time, over two hours. And it was easy to feel as though I'd been friends with Peter for a very long time. It's that kind of collapsed friendship poets have, where you know you like people, even intensely, but you live in separate places, writing and doing your work in various ways, and see each other maybe only once every few years. And when those times are right, it's beautiful. It was beautiful hanging with Peter on Saturday, and going to his talk on Friday.

Now I'm going back and forth in his two books, Some Values of Landscape and Weather, and The Outernationale. I absolutely love his poem "Revival" in the former. Here's a small part of this 6-page poem.
I was talking about rending, reading, rewriting
what is seen. Put the book down and look into the day.
I want an art that can say how I am feeling
if I am feeling blue sky unrolling a coronation rug
unto the bare toe of a peasant girl.
with vague memories of Jeanne d'Arc,
or that transformation in Cinderella.
Where is your mother today?
I think of you, soft skin against soot.
How much has the world turned
since you were a girl in Troy?
In a way the conversation with Peter was like being in a poem of his, where the combination of leaps and the information included is diverse and always fluid, the mind moving, embracing. A lovely dance, and one that wants to reckon where and how and what it is, that wants to come to grips with everything.