Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sent to me by the author in anticipation of her visit to Buffalo in 1998.
When I took over the job at Just Buffalo, six months' worth of programs had already been laid out for me in advance, of which Camille Roy's reading was one. I can't quite remember who she read with, but I have a feeling it was something of an odd pairing, possibly a mainstream poet like Pattiann Rogers or Dorianne Laux, two others who were on my initial list. I didn't know any of their work at the time, and a lot of my job involved getting to know the landscape.
I don't have any highly specific memories of her visit. I remember she had short-cropped, dyed-blond hair. I've never run into her again personally, but I do occasionally see photos of her popping up on Facebook, in which she looks almost nothing like the person I remember meeting.
Lucy put down the knife she was using to slice carrots, then picked up a cigarette balanced on the rim of the sink. She took a drag and sighed, eyeing me carefully. "Start packing, kiddo," she said. "This summer you're going to be staying with the Budds."
Oh mom...A whine went off in my brain, but I kept it zipped. That phrase was too humiliating. For a long moment we both watched her smoke drift under the kitchen light. Then I chose one of lucy's own favorite expressions. "So this is the cutty sark..."