The Poetry Prom was a success

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The Poetry Prom was a great success with Chris Abani attending and Douglas Kearney, Laurel Ann Bogen as king and queen. Eric Morago presided; Skyler and Nicelle were magnificent, Nicelle’s friend in boots looked amazing, and our own staff members Chris, Billy and Ashley were of course quite epic. I had lunch with Percival Everett Thursday, and we went to the Bowl that night. I am going to Whidbey Island tomorrow. I visit there briefly every summer, usually for a couple days to speak on publishing. Usually, I also meet with all the graduating students and help them plan their next 18-24 months as they move toward lives as published writers, but this time, I am not meeting with the graduating students, just doing my talks and then home sweet home.

We have been gardening today; it’s going well. Last night we went to Maurya Simon’s for dinner. Her husband Robert was there and Pete Fairchild and his wife. Fairchild is one of the great poets of our country, a thoroughly American poet who tells the story of prairie, wilderness, cars and fast moving trains in a way that no one else quite can.

I keep thinking about changing my life, and how the poems of Fairchild are about America and craziness. On the way home last night, I sang to Mark. America is a country where we all believe we can get away with it. We can move away from problems when we wish. We can reinvent ourselves anytime we wish.

If you think for a moment that you live inside a small story, remember that you can rewrite that into a large story a story that walks on big feet, flies on big wings.

From “Rave On” by B.H. Fairchild
Rumbling over caliche with a busted muffler,
radio blasting Buddy Holly over Baptist wheat fields,
Travis screaming out behold, I come like a thief
at jackrabbits skittering beneath our headlights,
the Messiah coming to Kansas in a flat-head Ford
with bad plates, the whole high plains holding its breath,
night is fast upon us, lo, in these the days of our youth,
and we were hell to pay, or thought we were. Boredom
grows thick as maize in Kansas, heavy as drill pipe
littering the racks of oil rigs where in summer boys
roustabout or work on combine crews north as far
as Canada. The ones left back in town begin
to die, dragging main street shit-faced on 3.2 beer
and banging on the whorehouse door in Garden City
where the ancient madame laughed and turned us down
since we were only boys and she knew our fathers. ..

Published in: on August 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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