Thursday, September 24, 2009

csu reading series

csu hosted a reading by the poets g.c. waldrep and john gallaher. it was a great reading. search out some poems by these guys.

john gallaher started a poem with one of my favorite lines i've heard in a while. it went something like, "at times, i feel like a ghost walking through night, believing in people."

i did one of those slight exhales/tiny laughs in disbelief at the line, in how good a line of poetry can be. i heard fellow mfa poet sunshine dempsey have the same reaction.

i want to know, what recent lines or sections from poems have caused you to physically react in disbelief?


  1. The final lines (esp the last one) in Tate's "The Tree Surgeon" made me do that. Here's the poem:

    All limbs are not necessary:
    I have a tree surgeon in mind.
    He is such a lonely man,
    but he is kind,
    and the tree is in need

    of his gentle hands.
    Not all limbs are necessary,
    my wife agrees.
    She is a cripple from the Bronx;

    something about a train
    in Yucatan...

    or the way she talks
    makes me think
    you're better off
    hobbling in the dark -

    the thieves will offer you their staffs.
    The willow like an octopus
    in the moon

    knots its arms
    on whose behalf? The surgeon
    is broke; inflammable trucks
    drive round his flat,

    the drivers honk
    at his long, green and gray hands.
    His life is stained

    with the breath
    of an idle neighborhood,
    like a window on a bus.
    A number of limbs fall on the dogs.


  2. This one is a little older as I read it during the spring, but it is my absolute fucking favorite thing written by Donald Barthelme. It was buried in an unrelated short story called "Paradise Before The Egg," and it is my favorite poem that is not a poem. The first two lines made me go :o and the last line made me go :O

    In hog heaven the hogs wait in line for more heaven. No not right, no waiting in line, it's unheavenly, unhogly. The celestial sty is quilted in kale, beloved of hogs. A male hog walks up to a female hog, says, "Want to get something going?" She is repulsed by his language, says "Bro, unless you can phrase that better, you're chilly forever." No, that's not right, this is hog heaven, they fall into each other's trotters, nothing can be done wrong here, nothing wrong can be done...

  3. i really like, "Bro, unless you can phrase that better, you're chilly forever."


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