Multifarious Array, 9/25 – A Brief Recap

Thank you to all who showed up last Friday evening for my reading at Pete’s Candy Store with Estela Lamat & Jennifer Karmin… if you missed it, here’s a very brief sampling of what happened…

I read a few new poems (mostly from a series of haibun) that will be out soon in Cavalier and Wheelhouse Magazine and then a nice chunk from e.s.p. This is one of my favorites (it first appeared in jubilat 14 and I realize now that at the time of composition it owed a subconscious debt to part IV of Ginsberg’s “Kaddish”):

and I just stood there…

with my brain like a chambered nautilus
with my hands like drunken sailors
with my tongue like a headless jack-in-the-box
with my jugular like the Strait of Bosphorus
with my innards like a hall of mirrors
with my fingernails like poker chips recklessly squandered
with my spine like the wick of a candle
with my spine like a run-on sentence
with my spine like cubic zirconia
with my chest like a continental breakfast
with my appendix like the Bodleian library
with my femur like an overpriced bottle opener
with my eyebrows like the beard of Hephaestus
with my toes like inert rhombuses
with my lips like a monk’s tonsure
with my mouth like a Rorschach Test
with my forearms like a friendly game of curling
with my eyes like tautological thought balloons
with my eyes like Styrofoam peanuts
with my eyes like Lazy Susans
with my stomach like a muted trumpet
with my voice box like a Rubik’s Cube
with my ear lobes like rinds of cantaloupe
with my knees like faceless effigies
with my coccyx like a third-place trophy
with my epidermal regions bearing much resemblance to silly putty
with my forehead like an expired driver’s license
with my hair like flavored dental floss
with my hair like a clip-on tie
with my heart playing dead and my spleen
being fashionably late
with my cheekbones like mathematics
with my arms akimbo like the hinges of fate
with my hands in my pockets like amateur spelunkers
with my mouth like a horoscope, like a lunar calendar,
like a wrinkled snood
with my throat like a Geiger counter gone haywire
with my nose like an absurd fulcrum
with my sternum like the epicenter
of a barely aborted earthquake
with my ribs like fingers folded in prayer

Estela read some great prose poems from her forthcoming book Colimillo molido. Here’s one of them along with my English translation (this first appeared in Action, Yes):

Cuando me aterran sus ojos y el momento de escapar se vuelve peligroso como una marea de niños muertos cayendo sobre la mesa cuando no hay noches sin puestas de luna y tu voz se aparece en mis sueños condenadamente diferente cuando tú y yo nos sentamos a la mesa y nos amamos en lenguas que desconocen las mariposas nos enroscamos como lengua nos perdemos entre los horizontes más oscuros de la noche nos vemos dibujar ventanas en los pasillos nos miramos disgustados ante la oquedad del tiempo y nos permitimos reír como si no tuviéramos bisagras y en verdad fuéramos cuerpos al sol tendidos bajo la sombra angustiosa de la luna Cuando nada de lo que digo tiene sentido porque en tu cuerpo estallo como un vidrio al contacto violento de una piedra cuando te miro y sé que te conozco y que me desconoces cuando creo que lo que conozco me sirve para algo pero en realidad es solo una grieta cuando lo que me motiva es ir corriendo hasta tu casa y arrojarme en tu cama como un murciélago herido por el día cuando solo puedo retroceder sobre mis zapatos y aquietarme en un rincón y golpearme la cara 3 veces contra la palma roja de mi mano cuando no me quedan más melodías en la boca que las que pronuncio en silencio cuando duermes con los ojos abiertos a mi boca me dejo morir muy lentamente me dejo ir muy despacito hacia las costas negras de tu risa me agoto en tus ojos me duermo en tus ojos y entonces solo entonces te recuerdo como en un dibujo que perdí hace muchos años.

When its eyes terrify me and the moment of escape turns dangerous as a tide of dead children crashing on the table when there are no nights without the setting of the moon and your voice appears in my dreams damningly different when you and I sit at the table and we love each other in tongues unknown to the butterflies we curl like a tongue we get lost between the darkest horizons of the night we see each other drawing windows in the corridors we look at each other chagrined before the cavity of time and we let ourselves laugh as if we didn’t have hinges and were really recumbent bodies on the sun under the distressing shadow of the moon When nothing that I say makes sense because I shatter in your body like glass from the violent impact of a stone when I look at you and know that I know you and that you don’t recognize me when I think that what I know is useful somehow but in reality it’s only a crack when what I really want is to run to your house and hurl myself on your bed like a bat wounded by the day when I can only fall back on my shoes and compose myself in a corner and slap my face three times against the red palm of my hand when there are no more melodies left in my mouth except those that I pronounce in silence when you sleep with your eyes open to my mouth I let myself die a long slow death I proceed with caution toward the black coasts of your laugh I exhaust myself in your eyes I sleep in your eyes and then and only then do I remember you as a drawing that I lost long ago.

And Jennifer Karmin finished the night with some wild neutrino poems that she wrote with Bernadette Mayer. You can check out “vital statistics of neutrinos” and “A NEUTRINO CASINO” at delirious hem. It was nice to meet Jennifer and chat with her after the reading about the endlessly fascinating and maddening world of contemporary poetry.

Thanks to Sommer Browning for hosting the great event!

pete's candy store, 9-25-09

Mike Leong & Estela Lamat

~ by Michael Leong on September 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “Multifarious Array, 9/25 – A Brief Recap”

  1. post some pictures!

  2. Yes, Michael. Post a couple of pictures and congratulations on the event.

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