Saturday, December 5, 2009

Aimless Reading: The E's, Part 12.1 (Elaine Equi)

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Equi, Elaine

I was going to say I bought this at Talking Leaves...Books, but then a St. Mark's Book Shop bookmark fell out of the book. This could mean I bought it there, but it could also mean that I used the bookmark of one store, even though I bought it at the other, in which case I have no idea where I bought it. I did buy it. Of that, I am almost certain.

I brought Elaine to Buffalo for a reading, I recall, probably in 1998. She came by herself, and read at Hallwalls with Ted Pearson, who'd held my job before me. I remember driving her up to Niagara falls. I took her to the Criminals Hall of Fame Wax Museum, where we looked at wax figures of Charles Manson and John Dillnger and John Wayne Gacy.

We ate prime rib at a cheap family restaurant next door. The dollar was very strong at the time and we were both thrilled about the discount we got when we figured in the exchange rate -- 6 dollar steaks!

At that time, I still smoked like a chimney, and I remember Elaine asked me for a cigarette, which she never lit. She held it all night long, occasionally putting it into her mouth, but mostly holding it between her fingers. I think she said it helped her resist the temptation.

from Voice-Over

Spirit Photography
Where do we reside--

in our beer commercials
or somewhere outside of them?

Culture's mirrors
are all one way,

but if the soul
were photographed
would it really be
so predictably vague
and out of focus?

Look, there is the ghost
of a hand,

a family of shadows
stepping out of the sea.


where there is only smoke
we all find someone we know.

Yet the clearly visible
is more mysterious by far.

Our own breasts, arms,
legs, mouths--


we can no longer see.

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