Monday, November 22, 2010

15 Books in 15 Minutes

This is my list of "books you can come up with in fifteen minutes" that had an impact on you. Several friends have passed along their list, so here is my contribution.

1. Gospel, by Wilton Barnhardt
2. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
3. Son of the Morning Star, by Evan S. Connel
4. The Marx Family Saga, by Juan Goytisolo
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
6. The Savage Detectives, by Robeto BolaƱo
7. The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
8. The Big Rock Candy Mountain, by Wallace Stegner
9. Death and the Penguin, by Andrey Kurkov
10. The Twelve Chairs, by Ilf & Petrov
11. Tourist Season, by Carl Hiaason
12. Planet of the Apes, by Pierre Boulle
13. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkein
14. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe
15. A Confederate General From Big Sur, by Richard Brautigan

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am the Itinerate Poet

I am the Itinerate Poet.

Or at least, that’s what Seamus Heaney called me when we met.

I crashed the reception after the reading, entering through the kitchen. Why not? I said to myself. After all it was a three hour drive to get there.

He was right, you know.

I have always written poetry. And I have always worked jobs that kept me on the move and just below the poverty line. A dependent, you could say—friends and family always helping out with the bills and what not.

But always there was the poetry.

I don’t have any academic connections. Nobody asks me to read for them. I am anonymous.

He held a glass of whisky, and all I could think of was how I can’t drink anymore. Not—recognize me—I exist. No, there was only the whiskey and the poetry.

I am the Itinerate Poet.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Demonic Energy

Fire trucks and cherry pickers are on the scene
Obstructing any inquisition
Sparks and flotsam conspiratorial

The bolt shot through me--halfway
Into my dialogue
Into the baser part of the brain

Left in darkness, left in a strobe
Not in rhythm with my pulse
Only irregular