Friday, February 4, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 25 (Bernadette Mayer)

Mayer, Bernadette
Another Smashed Pinecone


I think this was given to me by the author. Just Buffalo brought her to read in, I think, 1999. It is uniquely inscribed with the author's thumb print impressed in gold ink. Mayer was still recovering from a stroke when she visited and had not yet regained the ability to write her name, so she was signing all of her books with a thumb print.

Her partner, Philip Good, carried around a little ink pad like the ones they once used to stamp library books. When we did the book signing after her reading, he removed it from his pocket, opened the case, set it on the table next to her, and held it steady while she whet the tip of her thumb on the pad, then transferred her print to the cover page of the book, between the title and her name.

I remember that during her reading she kept saying "dot com" at the end of each line while reading one of her poems. Everyone laughed, but I think the joke might have been a little late even then. The internet had already taken over our lives.

from Another Smashed Pinecone

"well when you begin a poem"

well when
you begin a poem
you invest right away in
wasting paper
all the white or
space of many colors
around it
a thought not to be had

I was in ethiopia recently
where we walked into the water
of addis abbaba
where there is no water
I went to another
place for $299 dollars
for 6 days/five nights
but on the sixth night secretly
I could've loved you

& honestly I've been nowhere
but here
in the space of many colors
looking for a place
ideally and in no wise
for impossible travels and knowledge
to be enjoyed and gained
in this my age
I'm embarrassed to be in

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