Wednesday, June 6th at 8:00p I will be reading at The Livery in Benton Harbor (190 5th St Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 925-8760). I will be reading from Small Murders (New Issues Press, 2006), as well as poems from my new and as yet unpublished collection, The Luck of Anhedonia. I will be selling and signing copies of Small Murders for $14 (cash preferred).
Still in Portland, Oregon … and it took flying across the country for me to truly realize the importance of mutual respect and also the inner reflection of what’s truly important — sincere love, respect, and poetry. Tonight I read with Aaron at Nine Muses in NE Portland. It will be a great moment (one of many these days here) to share the stage with Aaron again, our words and minds tilted completely and together toward Truth and Beauty. I truly dread leaving tomorrow, but know I will be back in a few months and that is when my true life, unconfused and for the first time clear, will begin.
Well … it is truly wonderful here. My reading is tomorrow at Nine Muses at 8:30P. Hoping for the remaining 5 copies of Small Murders to be sold! Dreading the Michigan beast … but loving it here while I can.
I have written many poems since Friday night. I am also full of great ideas for chapbooks, several chapbooks. I hope to have them all ready and my second collection, The Luck of Anhedonia by a mid-June deadline when many contests are due.
Also I am reading in Portland, Oregon at Nine Muses on Tuesday, May 22nd at 8:30. Please come if you’re in Portland … and you can hear Aaron’s wondeful poems as well since I am sure he will also be reading …
I am feeling suddenly so good but there is so much to do! I cannot wait to get back to the poems spread across my living floor. It looks like a blizzard went through my living room … it is truly wonderful. I am also thinking I want to get a pair of pink stage curtains for the gaping doorway in my apartment. Where does one buy stage curtains? And I would need them to be small since they are for doorway and not a stage.
This is my Anhedonia. But it is first a photograph of an antique wax mannequin by Detroit artist, Barbara Abel. Please visit her website: http://www.abelphotography.com.
Anhedonia is also the one who has been my friend and companion when I don’t have another. She hangs on the wall in my living room, her eyes following me. Often she will fly from the wall on which she clings most days with the might and muster and biology of a bat’s clawed wings, spend a few significant moments in the oxygen and then be betrayed by gravity. She is fragile and I am fragile. We know what not to say or do to one another. But we also know what needs to be said to one another … and always remind one another to always be brave. Brave like a lobster squealing in the pot of steam … screaming in the face of bitter decay.
My small victory was writing a poem about my passed on Aunt Shirley. She was an artist, a painter, and lived in a log cabin in the woods with a large St. Bernard named Sandy. She was the only one I would allow to cut my bangs when I was little. I think I trusted her because she was an artist and therefore seemed more real to me than everybody else. Last night I dreamed about her … she was yelling for me from the loft area of her cabin, asking me to come up. There was paint splattered all over her and I kept thinking it was blood not paint and so said I couldn’t come up there. That she was contagious and I was already afraid I got what she had the day she was cutting my bangs and also cut her finger and blood dripped onto my forehead … that is probably when the wiring was shot. This was a dream but I believe a lot of it in some inexplicable way. There was some sort of comforting communication in this … like it was her trying to tell me not to worry anymore, especially about other people. That I could just be … I plan to try.
What buried worm of guilt / Or what malignant doubt / Am I the victim of, / That you then, unabashed, / Did what I never wished, / Confessed another love; / And I, submissive, felt / Unwanted and went out? — W.H. Auden
Today is so strange … I am seeing those pink stage curtains in my mind again when I shut my eyes. And I hear her voice again, words forced from her wax lips: Anhedonia quoting Auden. My mind is tired today and aches so. I want so badly to just be in the dark, pretending I am in a tunnel no one knows about, alone in the real and true sense while everyone walks all over me on a street above. I will be with the other scavengers. I guess I am a scavenger too … scavenging for one moment, scratching away at the miles and minutes.
The curtains are drawn and swaying in our oxygen. They look expectant, like they are anticipating something remarkable any moment. But like life and love, nothing ever happens … only the threat of it.
I bet reading Chuck Palahniuk’s new novel, Rant may be akin to entering the world Nick Cave created in his masterpiece album, The Murder Ballads. But I will go to this evidently creepy (as Palahniuk always is) novel of a killer precariously since Kathryn Reiss’s teen murder mystery, Blackthorn Winter is totally creeping me out when I can finally put it down and get into bed. I am also hoping to fit in Palahniuk’s book, Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon before my trip to Portland a week from Friday. Lots of reading to do … but that always a good job to have.
I will hope for the best since his book, Haunted raided my dreams for over a month … but I cannot resist reading his macabre imaginings though … just like one usually cannot tear one’s eyes away from a gory accident.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde wrote: “The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves.” This, like the rest of the novel, is a novel observation of human behavior. This is also why I feel mistakes in relationships are made. Looking back on a few of mine, I see the error and my fear of myself; the needed and necessary “distraction” of another person whether or not they are good for you … make you feel the way that you need to feel in order to be a healthy, contented person with a promising life with others and yourself.
And now I watch another make this mistake … but in a larger way, a way that may be permanent and inescapable. I watch this beautiful person wilt away slowly in her fear of herself … her now dissipated and slowly sinking value of herself. Watching a once-vibrant person you love turn into almost a shell, a nonperson by comparison of who she was is not only frightening and disillusioning, but also gives me an intense feeling of helplessness as I have never felt before. Fear can be the very root of troubles, palates of troubles. But there is also free will and I am a firm believer in it. I had to realize my fears and still do, have to talk it through with strangers in a room that is drafty and small and badly decorated, allowing someone to rub sandalwood on my pressure points as a cure-all to the deepness of years of psychological weirdness and battles.
And speaking of free will, there is Sartre saying these so true words that are the very roots of our fears: “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” But we must learn how to live, living being to an extent a learned behavior. I need to be brave always and so do you, my kinswoman … be brave, be wise, run for the hills happily.
So a migraine came to me in place of anything else. In place of those words I so want to come. I want to feel better and I definitely want to be better. In Rilke’s poem, “The Archaic Torso of Apollo,” he writes: You must change your life. And I must for my own sake of sanity, my brain acting up with a tantrum giving my stomach the aches of hammers, the consitency of deteriorating lace. I want it all to be better … I must change my life … my brain and its terrible tempers thundering like shutters in a night wind.
The last several days have been a test for certain … a test of my already teetering sanity. But this did my heart good … a review by a reviewer who actually seems to “get” Small Murders. And I needed to feel “gotten” today. I am going to paste Aisha’s review from the Milwaukee paper, Shepherd Express here:
Meanwhile, the visceral verses of contemporary poet Carrie McGath recall the confessionalist poets, using personal traumas to unearth the uneasy rhythms that pulsate beneath everyday objects and experiences. The name of her new anthology, Small Murders, forewarns you of the dark nature of her poetry, hovering in that disquieting zone between violence and placidity, dreaming and wakefulness. Her persona is one whose brittle cheeriness and cold pragmatism belies her struggle to resist the undertow of phantasmagoric horror that lies beneath the everyday. Juxtaposing imagery of fractured delicacy, birds’ wings, eggshells and doll’s heads, with the uncompromising hardness of gun barrels and wooden chests, she captures an uncanny world where a semblance of normality veils overripe fantasies and violence. Hear McGath read her distinct and powerful poetry at Broad Vocabulary on Friday, April 27th at 6:30 p.m.
Read all of the reviews in this particular column of Aisha’s here:
http://shepherd-express.com and look for the Books / Poetry in Motion section.
Keep it up, Aisha … and please drop me a line if you see this and … want to. Thanks for the review!