Monday, November 15, 2010

Aimless Reading: The L's, Part 4.2 (Gerrit Lansing)

Lansing, Gerrit
Heavenly Tree/Soluble Forest

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books. Not inscribed.

For the longest time, I thought the title of this book was "Heavenly Tree/Soluble Frost." I misread the title the very first time I saw it and it set in my mind as that. I owned the book for several years before I realized my mistake.

In fact, I figured it out at Gerrit's house in Gloucester! He brought the book out to read me some of his poems to me in his living room. While he was reading, I glanced at the title and saw that the word 'frost' was in fact 'forest.' I blushed.

After he'd read me a few poems, I laughed and told him what had happened. He said he liked that title, too. I said so did I, but that I guessed 'forest' would have to do.

from Heavenly Tree/Soluble Forest

The Heavenly Tree Grows Downward

Who bury the dead
must from the grave
establish a habit

Who bury the dead
leas forth the bride
stainless in dress

the morning-
glory creeps

Who bury the dead
in fetal position
knees pulled up to chin

Who bury the dead
to rise again


Robbie said...


Didn't know you were such a Lansing fan! I've made a couple trips out to his house on the hill myself and have similarly sweet memories of getting to bask for a bit in his warmth, intelligence, & astounding library. Thinking of pulling myself out of bed before 11 this Saturday, as it seems someone is giving a paper on him as part of the Curriculum of the Soul stuff ...


Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

Hey Robbie,

I forgot to mention being woken each morning by Garret playing his Steinway piano! It's always kind of dreamy to visit.

Not sure I'll make it on Saturday -- maybe I'll see you at Big Night later on, though!