Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aimless Reading: The K's, Part 11 (Amy King)


On The Fly
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
King, Amy
On The Fly


I can't remember if I purchased this or traded for it with the author. She came to Buffalo to read at Rust Belt Books about four years ago as part of Kevin Thurston's series. I remember that after the reading we were standing on the sidewalk and Amy came out of the store upset that someone had stolen a copy of the book. I said I thought that was a compliment, but she didn't see it that way.

I think the Poetry Bus pulled into town the next day for a reading at the Albright-Knox. I read, as did Amy and Ethan Paquin and a few other Buffalo folks. After the reading we went to Cole's with all of the poetry bus people. I had a long conversation with a guy on the bus who was making a film about the whole thing. He told that his last film was about walking from Portland or Seattle to LA. I said that reminded me of Werner Herzog walking all the way to Paris from Berlin.

If you don't know that story, it goes something like this: Lotte Eisner, the famous German film critic who helped Herzog early on and also appeared as a narrative voice in Fata Morgana, wrote that she was dying in a Paris hospital. Herzog told her not to die until he got there. Rather than hurry, he decided to walk from from Berlin to Paris, the logic being that, if she waited for him, his walk would prolong her life. She apparently survived until he got there. Not sure how long she lived after that.

Surprised I mentioned Herzog, the filmmaker asked if I'd seen the film, which was called, "Walking to Werner Herzog." I told him no and he told me that Herzog's walk had inspired him and that he'd walked to all the way to LA in order to meet Herzog, his hero. When he arrived at Herzog's house, however, the great man wasn't in. I guess they did meet eventually and Herzog let him in to film the end of the story.

from On the Fly

Inhabiting Consciousness

Anxious to garner the fat on the fly,
the first to let go prays the kingdom
of the human ghetto will be dethroned
for those earth-driven creatures who
thought we were Paris, animals of ourselves.
Atoms too tend toward material, then, stuck,
in a cobweb of sameness, face our buzzing natures.

With impossibility, God colors the coffee,
lays out his crooked rain,
& sleeping still, I sleep until
the waking in this disappearing question.
To rise for day is to deposit with shovels
and make the air a shapeless dream of spring.
We bachelors of approximate projects
go on to wing it and carry on the serenade.

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