Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 6 (Michael Ondaatje)

Ondaatje, Michael
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid


Given to me by the author. Inscribed. Though I can't make out the whole inscription.

Michael Ondaatje was featured in the second season of the Babel series. I got to hang out with him for the better of a day. He has just about the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen -- at least in person.

He came to town in the afternoon and I picked him up at his hotel and brought him over to Babeville, where he attended the Patron reception, then read and talked and answered questions for about 900 people. He read a fair amount from this book, which made me really happy.

During our conversation, we both sat forward on our chairs as we spoke, instead of leaning back into them. For some reason, this felt like a much more active way to talk about things. He was very easy to talk to and I thought the q & a part of the evening went really well.

Afterwards I took him back to his hotel and we ordered french bread pizza and sat in the lounger talking about poetry. It turned out that we actually had a lot of mutual acquaintances in the poetry world. I liked him a lot. Afterwards he gave me this book, as well as a couple issues of his magazine, Brick.

from The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

*

one morning woke up
Charlie was cooking
and we ate not talking
but sniffing wind
wind so fine
it was like drinking beer

we sat hands round knees
heads leaned back taking lover wind
in us sniffing and sniffing
getting high on the way
it crashed in our nostrils

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