Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Catching Up ...

The reading with Andrea Selch was great fun. It'd been years since I'd read at a venue other than the Center, and it was a pleasure to see some old friends, like Tandy Solomon, who were also fans of Andrea's. I didn't get photos, but perhaps someone else did. I did manage to record the event on my trusty laptop.

After Andrea and I had finished, Tandy, who was our MC for the evening, announced that Emoke Bracz, Malaprops proprietor, a poet herself, had been so energized by our readings that she'd decided to come out and read a poem herself. Sure enough, Emoke came to lectern, and proceeded to recite from memory a long poem - in Hungarian, her native tongue. It was lovely and mesmerizing.

Before the reading Emoke and I had talked, and I'd had to admit that I was a little nervous, so she told me she had a way of getting through the jitters whenever she read: she always started by reciting a poem in Hungarian - she thought it could be in any language, as long as it was other- to settle herself down. I'll never learn enough Hungarian, I'm sure, to perform as Emoke did, but perhaps I'll start readings henceforth with a poem or two by old favorite Rene Char, in French.

The Transits of Venus chapbook did indeed get finished, and is now at Malaprops.

And now the bigger book, NatureS, a selection of poems since 1972, is with the printer, I'm told, so it may be out very shortly also. I've worked on it over the last two years, and am finally happy with the work it contains, notwithstanding the incorrigible youthfulness, shall we say, seen from age sixty, of some of it. More to come about that project, including some poems that the editor and I decided for various reasons to leave out.

Work on the house, meanwhile, continues. Yesterday, when I took the facia board and soffit off the eave at one of the original corners of the house (between rot and carpenter bees, they were in bad shape), I found some pieces of roofing which must have been, given their location, from the house's original roof. I'd already discovered, in scraping, the original paint, so now I've got a mind's eye glimpse of the house's appearance c. 1911: white, with a brick-red roof.

It'll be quite different when I'm through.

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