Monday, September 10, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 62 (Stacy Szymaszek)

Emptied of All Ships
Szymaszek, Stacy
Emptied of All Ships

The final book in the 'S' section. Stacy being the only "Sz" writer in my collection. I think she sent this to me before she came to read in Buffalo a few years back. Actually it was probably five or six years ago, now that I think of it.

I have this faint memory of a black and white photo of her in the snow in front of Barbara Cole's house. Or maybe the photo was taken by Stacy of Barbara. I am sure all three– Stacy, Barbara, Snow–were involved.

I have another memory of Kyle Schlesinger handing me a copy of this great little magazine called Gam, which he said was published by a poet living in Wisconsin. But this was long before the photo of the snow....

24 hours have passed since I wrote the previous sentence. I suddenly feel like I did when I used to write letters. Each sitting was something I noted down in the letter. I'd sit, write a paragraph, get distracted, and write another paragraph a week letter. I don't think I was being deliberately cheeky by making mention of this fact as much as I felt a kind of guilt (Catholic, no doubt) about pretending I wrote the letter in one sitting. In my mind, creating the illusion of continuity would be tantamount to lying. Eventually, this did become ironic, but at first it was simply a desire to confess.

I kind of miss the slowness of letter writing. There was never an expectation that you would respond the day you received the letter, so it was actually okay to write a paragraph today and then another three days later before sending it off. Now, the expectations in terms of response time are much greater. People want to see that little read notification sign pop up in their email or on facebook. It's like a drug.

Anyhow, you should read Stacy's poetry. She's one of my faves. She also has my collegial admiration for being a poet who can also run an organization. A rare skill set, indeed.

from Emptied of All Ships

                                                  sequent of waves albumen ferment
                                                  white cap floats hum syllables of elegy

                                                  veer anchor train to sea bottom–pendulums
                                                  Darwins of sound gull song obscure

                                                 in wide air–tintinnabular–sympathetic
                                                 under tonnage of flora ocean of phantom brain

                                                 grieve with me–Slavic    Indic    Arabic

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