Saturday, June 30, 2007

The future, the past

The future:

Upcoming, probably in my next post: I'll outline the project which my Individual Artist Grant will be funding, and why I'm going to be one darned busy poet for the next twelve months.

Upcoming, in a little over a week: Hey, cool! Tony Hoagland and Jason Shinder are reading at FAWC on the Sunday I arrive there. I'm not intimately familiar with the work of either poet, but I've read a bit here and there, so I'll look forward to this. Carl Phillips and Gail Mazur are reading that week too (of course, since they are teaching). And the Saturday I leave, there is a reading by Keith Althaus, Sara London, and Paul Lisicky (whose work I like a great deal). Dang! I've got motel reservations in Providence that night, and seriously doubt I could find a place to stay in P-town for just that one night -- so sticking around for that reading would mean making the drive to Providence quite late at night. Hm. We'll just play it by ear. Maybe I'll find a couch to crash on.

The past:

Here's a really old poem, just for kicks and giggles.

The summer wears on
becomes overripe and malodorous.
You try not to move too much
but always something calls you,
the phone, a kid selling candy,
the water for your dinner boiling over.
Every action feels like an uprooting,
limp pale tendrils pulled through dust
and clods of dry earth.
You want it to rain.

But what you planted grows relentlessly
despite the weather,
tomatoes swell and split and fall,
zinnias grow too tall for bouquets.
In back, early windfall apples
hit the ground at odd moments,
plock, and you gather them in paper bags
but it's too hot to can or bake pies.
Every night you check
the asparagus, cut the stalks
when they're still tender,
finger high. What you miss
keeps growing, ferny and defiant.
No matter how much you harvest
some escapes you, falls free,
goes to seed.

-A.H. (1987)
Published in Calapooya Collage #12, 1988


Garbo said...

Maybe you can find a poet to crush on, rather than a couch to crash on. Sea air and love poems bring out the romantic in everyone. . .

Anne said...

Ha! Garbo, I appreciate the sentiment. But it really is okay that I am perfectly happy without any particular romance in my life, even if that's not how other people choose to live their lives. Truly, it is -- and I'm happier with my life right now than I ever have been. :)