Friday, April 2, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 12.1 (Peter Gizzi)


The Outernationale
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Gizzi, Peter
The Outernationale


Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books.

I sat down three different times yesterday to write a blog post and each time failed to come up with something to write about. I suppose that writing these posts is like any other creative endeavor -- I have to keep reminding myself that there are no rules or expectations, otherwise I get stuck writing nothing. In this instance I kept feeling the urge to write something about one of the several interactions I have had with Peter Gizzi over the years, like the one in the previous post.

I could think of three off hand: meeting him for the first time in NY, just before I came to Buffalo, and asking him what it was like and him telling me it was a cheap place to live. Peter coming to Buffalo on a separate occasion with his wife, poet Elizabeth Willis. I think they both read. Or maybe I am conflating her visit with his. I remember talking with her in a restaurant. Now that I think of it, he wasn't there at all. Running into him at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC during the AWP conference, and he joking with me about getting Paul Auster to blurb Human Scale (Peter blurbed it, too). A note from Peter seemingly out of the blue after he had read To Be Sung. He had been injured and sitting on a couch for days and said he had read it twice and that he enjoyed it and thanked me for sending it along. Seeing him last year, or maybe two years ago, in New Haven. He and Elizabeth came to a reading I gave with Richard Deming. We took group photos, everyone smiling. Etcetera.

Well, I guess I solved the problem.

from The Outernationale

Cheap Imitation


Through a single pane
a distant hemlock signals
in northern light
a distant light weirds the field
pole star notes on cold
stone, on blue light
a dirty birch light
a fathomless muzzle-gray
pussywillow stone light
the day Socrates died
into evergreen light, cold
cold light of mind.

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