While awaiting anxiously and likely creepily watching Tony Hoagland and Dean Young before the reading at the Chicago Public Library, I decided to make it kind of like you were sharing the experience with me, Aaron … so I did a little freewrite of my thoughts and feelings in the moments leading up to THE READING.
Tony Hoagland’s wearing a bright-colored, button-down shirt — swimming pool blue — and a vest, brown, maybe corduroy. He’s looks cute, wise, and sweet but shorter than I ever would have thought he was.
Dean Young’s sporting a vest, too. Like a suit vest with the satin along the back … and jeans … he looks a little like a displaced cowboy. Maybe a banker who lost his pants and shoes but still had to show up in something at the banquet. Something … I like it.
It’s quite wonderful, Aaron … I look around me now and everyone’s reading poetry. This makes the world soften to me. At least right now. I will enjoy completely this coming hour or so.
Dean Young looks exactly as he does in his author photos. And so does Tony Hoagland, just shorter. I wish you were here. But I know each of us have glorious days coming, many of them, and we will likely enjoy some of them at least in the same time zone.
And I wonder why this girl sat down right next to me when there were lots of empty seats … so now I battle for the elbow room I need to write this and now have that need to do that hide-with-hand thing … hiding what you’ve written while you write so no one can read it.
Li Young Lee is also here. I saw him read in Kalamazoo at The Little Theater. I think I told you about it — how sensual I felt after hearing his long and lux poem about furniture and erotic visions. He was beautiful that night and even the smirks from a clique of former colleagues could not stiffle me, or ruin me that night. It was like some post-coital moment … unwieldy and wondrous. And I wrote so much that night … a curdled and commingled love and fear and passion in the upper right corner of my heart and the lower left of my spleen. I know this reading will be at least that but maybe more.
Your time right now is 4:00 while mine is 6:00. Real time.
So many (I mean a good 30 out of a total of 60-70 people) women have super-curly, untamed hair … why is that, Aaron? So many “literary” women now have super-curly hair … it is a strange and tiny trend.
Later I will write about the fascinating things they both had to say about the craft of poetry and the writing life in general … but here is a little taste.
Hoagland said people come to poetry for different reasons, and the main two reasons are to seek a truth and deep meaning while the others come to it for a love of language and a desire to have fun with it. He said, and I agree, that the Truth-seeker readers (me) need to do more of what the Language-lover readers do (you?) and vice versa. Tonight I plan on some big fun with Dean Young’s Embryoyo!
Aaron, Be loved and Be an infidel … well, if you want to.