Friday, January 20, 2012

It's a very pretty book...

And lovely inside too. Jim Harms' Comet Scar, that is. Just out from Carnegie Mellon. Have you gotten your copy yet? You'll be wanting to, of course. Jim will be reading on March 8 and you'll want to be ready. You can read straight through or you can do what I do, which is just open the book anywhere and begin. Here's the poem I read first:


She's listing the leaves again.
She's beginning with leaf
like a hand, then
leaf like a little leaf.
She's folding the leaf
like a letter into a map
to fit in her pocket.
Dear Me, How are you
but I already know.
She's licking a lemon
plucked from my tea,
the glass on a tray on
the porch steps.
She's shaking a spoon
of wet sugar.
She's lecturing a year-old
nest finally fallen
from the elm, saying
How could you? She walks
the nest to a pile of leaves;
she buries it deep, she digs it out.
She spends fifteen minutes
trying to throw it back
into the tree before
she looks at me again,
before anything else.

I like that one, don't you? Effortlessness is so hard to pull of. I learned a lot just by typing. That's how poetry works, sometimes: it sneaks up on you.

Congratulations to Jim. And remember: March 8, 7:30 p.m., in the Gold Ballroom. Until then, happy reading.

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