Thursday, February 26, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 44 (Laynie Browne)


The Scented Fox
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Browne, Laynie
The Scented Fox


This and the following title were given to me by the author this time last year, when she came to Buffalo to read. I had met Laynie the previous year in Tucson, when I read with Tyrone Williams in the POG series. She came out to an Indian restaurant with us afterwards, along with Tyrone, Lori, me, Charles Alexander, Barbara Henning, and a few others.

We talked a lot about the various cities she's lived in (NY, Seattle, Berkeley, Tucson) and the various poetry scenes she's been involved with. She's one of those people who seems to get deeply involved in the poetry community wherever she is, which is something I admire. I also recall we talked about some of the minor vicissitudes of living in the desert, which was a relatively new experience to her, and how she and her husband and children had had to get used to living among an unfamiliar set of desert creatures, some friendly, some less so.

During the course of that conversation, I remembered that I had actually seen Laynie read once in NYC, along with Fanny Howe, way back in 1997 or 8. I don't remember much of the reading, but I have an image in my mind of a rose and a cloud in a jar, which I am sure was produced by listening to one of Laynie's poems, even if my description is a far cry from whatever produced it.

Here's a poem from this volume:

Lullaby

O the windward--it is a sooth
that harbors through the withering

O the saith it is a dormer
that bids the sooth to enter

and let us sake the seer my fro
and let us sister together

the singer lasts the secant long
somnambulism lasts formally

and let us saint the seam my frieze
and let us sip together

the singer lasts the secret long
but this somewhere lasts foretellingly

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