Here’s the Lowdown for You, Aaron …


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.

Here Tis:

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.

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Published in: on April 5, 2007 at 9:34 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I found this entry through a Poetry Thursday participant’s link to you – I love it: especially the curly hair trend idea. Terrific recap.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the entry … that curly hair thing is strange but true. When I was in grad school, two of the writing profs had this type of hair. Some weird writing voodoo?

    Love the kitty! What’s his/her name? I have 2 — Seamus and Hortense.

    So are you a fan of Hoagland and Young? Like John Berryman? Robert Lowell? Just curious. I am poetry-lonely these days.

  3. Great post. Tony Hoagland and Dean Young are a great team, and are two of my favorite poets. I wish I had been there!

  4. Thanks for your comment, Greg! I will check out “sonnets at 4a.m.” for certain! Since you seem to have an interest in contempory poetry … my first collection, Small Murders was released in October 2006 from New Issues Press. My website … as my latest entry here attests is … http://www.carriemcgath.com.

    Any poetry venues in Grand Haven? I am always looking for places to possibly have a reading.

  5. Carrie:

    Ummm…yes. I DO seem to have an interest in contemporary poetry!

    Congratulations on your book. I’ve just ordered a copy. We do have a good independent bookstore in Grand Haven that occasionally sponsors readings:

    The Bookman
    715 Washinton Avenue
    Grand Haven, MI 49417

    (616) 846-3520

    I don’t think they have a website.

    All the best,

    Greg Rappleye

  6. Thanks, Greg … for ordering my book and also about the bookstore in Grand Haven.

    Let me know what you think about Small Murders!

    Take Care.


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