Wednesday, April 21, 2010

before a poetry reading

there's something about an empty podium that hovers halfway between expectation and rather awkward self-conscious solidity. This evening's was standing in the lower gallery of the Zimmerli, waiting to be occupied by Tom Healy and Gabrielle Calvocoressi, whose poetry worked extremely well together - Tom's more sparse and brittle; Gabrielle's the more incantatory, offering snippets of history and landscape that threatened, or promised, to break off into much longer stories - and then the protagonist moves on, or walks on, and leaves a scene that might have been glimpsed out of a car's rear window or by the head's quick turn. I particularly liked "Acknowledgement, 1964" - if there's an analogue to someone asking about an exhibition, "what picture would you most like to take home?" - then that was the poem I wanted to put into my purse.

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