Saturday, October 22, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 15 (Michael Palmer)

The Lion Bridge by Michael_Kelleher
The Lion Bridge, a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.
Palmer, Michael
The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995

Sent to me by the author. This book has all kids of interesting goodies in it.

Inside I found a slip of paper, folded in fours, with a handwritten note from Michael Palmer addressed to me. It reads:

25 Jan 1999

Dear Mike,

Here is everything except the reviews. My mother has just died, and I must leave town for her services, so I don't have time to get the [illegible]. I'll do that next week.

all best,

Michael Palmer

Just Buffalo brought Palmer to Buffalo to read at the opening celebration of "Robert Creeley's Collaborations," an exhibit of work by painters associated with Creeley that traveled from Buffalo in 1999-2000. He came to town for two or three days, which I spent taking him around town.

One evening, after the reading, I drove him to a party in Allentown. We parked a block or so away and then walked to the home of Elizabeth Licata and Alan Bigelow. While walking down the street, we stumbled upon a pair of polaroids that seemed to have been dropped on the sidewalk. I leaned over to pick them up.

To both of our surprise and amusement, they were lewd, if slightly obscure photos. One was of a penis and the other of a vagina. We laughed and wondered whether or not they had been dropped there deliberately. Maybe the owners of said organs were watching us right then and there!

Anyhow, we decided to each take one polaroid as a kind of souvenir. I gave him first dibs. He chose the penis, I took the vagina.

I tell this story because I still have the photo of the vagina inside Michael's book. I wonder if he still has the penis?

from The Lion Bridge

For L.Z.

A reasonable ear
in music, Bottom,
let's have it
out of tongs
and bones, was it
tongues? "To gather"
or "to ring";
and damp bones
below the stone
arches, a man's jaw
displayed on dark paper
as the bridge came down
following the song.

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