Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aimless Reading: The K's, Part 26 (Nancy Kuhl)

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Kuhl, Nancy

Given to me by the author. Inscribed.

You will note the presence of the author in today's photograph. She's smiling because she is proud of her new book. The photo was taken on May 31, 2010, when the author visited us along with her husband, the literary outlaw, Richard Deming.

Richard's book was due up on the blog right around the corner at the time, so we took a photo that posted very quickly. Nancy's photo, however, has been sitting on the desktop of my computer lo these many months, awaiting the day of its posting to the Pearlblossom Highway.

Well, the day has come. Welcome, Nancy.

Nancy and Richard lived in Buffalo for three years in the early part of the Millenium. Richard was a classmate of mine in the poetics program, while Nancy worked on a degree in library science. I think Richard was in town a full year before we ever crossed paths, but we became fast friends after that. I think it may have been another year before I met Nancy. A year later, poof, they were gone.

Nancy wound up working at the Beineke Rare Book Collection at Yale, where she works to this day. I have visited the two of them in New Haven often. I remember the first time I visited them. I was alone. Lori wasn't with me. I can't recall if were were together yet. I think we were together, but I can't recall why she wasn't with me.

Anyhow, we decided to go for dinner at a Turkish restaurant. I am not a terribly picky eater, but one thing I have always had a hard time eating (less so in recent years) is eggplant. Apparently, the Turks love eggplant, because just about every single menu item contained it. Both Nancy and Richard saw my discomfort and asked if I'd like to eat somewhere else, to which I quickly replied, "YES!"

We walked down the street to an Eritrean restaurant. You might say the food was haute Ethiopian. We ate all kinds of delicious globs of of spiced meats and vegetables using injera bread as a fork. I discovered I was very fond of that kind of food. For years after that, Lori and I drove every month or so up to Toronto to see a movie at the Cinematheque Ontario and to eat at the Ethiopia House.

from Suspend
The Strain that Can't be Ignored
between the Day and its Details

In today's episode our heroine,
the hostess, folds her wings (papery
and iridescent as any insect's), sits and
waits for her guests to arrive. In this
subtle light it's difficult to see her
concealed as she is by the upholstery's
complex coloring. Invisible subplots
in her narrative involve an owl, a fire
slow-burning behind the closet
door, a shadowy clairvoyant bent
over a deck of cards. The hostess hides
her valuables in the wall, tied in a bag
swinging from a black cord; it never
touches either side of the hollow.

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