Monday, September 20, 2010

Aimless Reading: The K's, Part 2 (Garrett Kalleberg)

Kalleberg, Garrett
Psychological Corporations


Inscribed by the author. I can't remember if I bought this or it was a gift. I think got it at a reading in Buffalo, but it's a little bit of a blur, as Garrett is also a friend from my New York days. Regardless...

Garrett was one of the first five or so people I met in the NY poetry scene back in the mid-nineties. He was part of a circle of people around Ann Lauterbach that included Dan Machlin and Heather Ramsdell and Genya Turovskaya, all of whom I befriended, though I was not in that circle, having never studied with Ann. In fact, I only met her a few years ago when I ended up sitting next to her at a large dinner in Buffalo during the Creeley conference in 2006. We talked about all the people we knew in common and lots of other things and then she gave me a sort of puzzled look and said, "What are YOU doing HERE? (i.e. in a place like Buffalo). I don't recall my reply.

I remember meeting Garrett at a reading he gave at the Segue foundation in probably 1996 or 1997. I think his chapbook, Limbic Odes, which I later republished in electronic form, had just come out. I may have met him before that, but the image of that reading comes to mind as an origination point for our friendship.

I remember him one other time giving an introduction to Pam Rehm, who was reading in the same space.

I remember asking Garrett what "limbic" meant.

He's read in Buffalo at least once, possibly twice, since I've been here. Last time he came through town with Jen Hofer, though both read on separate nights in different series. It was around my birthday. We ate dinner together one night with Lori and Jen Hofer and Patrick Durgin and his partner, whose name I can't recall, at a German place in Buffalo called Ulrich's, which claims to be the oldest continually operating establishment in the city. It's a popular place for Friday fish fry.

I am trying to remember where Garrett read. probably at Rust Belt Books or in The Hibiscus Room at the old Just Buffalo office in the Tri-main center, but my mind is drawing a blank. We played chess in the living room of the apartment on Ashland Avenue. Garrett beat me 2 out of 3 games. I won the first, but then he trounced me after that.

Not too long after that he got married and moved to Mexico. I've run into him once or twice in NYC since. I think he moved back there, actually, but we haven't really been in touch in a while.

from Psychological Corporations

Dark

And now: the electrical simulation of a frog

And now: the electric light bulb

And now: the electrocution of an elephant

And now, ladies and gentlemen in the dark: the dark.

The room is dark, madness

is dark, comedy is dark, the night is dark
when the curtains are closed shutting
out the street
light, I have dark thoughts these nights, dreams
which are pretty violent, I
hope this doesn't mean anything I've
never hurt a thing, really, not including
when Bryan and I went crazy with a
BB gun upstate, we were young, children
can be cruel, children are cruel.

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