Saturday, April 18, 2009

Small pond

This week two different people, neither of whom I knew, recognized me because of poetry stuff. One had seen me at the annual Five Women Poets readings (she knows someone else in the group and comes to our readings often). The other was a cashier in a shop who took my debit card, recognized my name, and remembered hearing me on the radio.

Does that ever stop feeling weird?

In other news, it's full-on spring and everything is busting into blossom. I love this time of year. Bloomington has a ridiculous number of flowering trees and we're just at that stage where the earliest ones are starting to lose their bloom, petals drifting through the air like clouds of snow. The redbuds are intense in their pink/magenta/fuchsia/undefinable color, bright as a neon sign. DC may have its cherry trees but we have our Bradford pears, flowering plums, redbuds, dogwoods, magnolias, tulip trees, forsythia, and a bunch of other stuff I don't know the names of. It's really fairly spectacular.

A few days ago (actually, on the plane back from Denver, right after we skidded down onto the Indianapolis tarmac) I finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. It got a lot of hype when it came out a few years ago, and I resisted reading it for that reason, but people, the hype is justified. This is one of those books that fucks you up while you're reading it (and that's a good thing). It pulls you into a world and a language that makes your heart hurt but that you never want to leave. I'd give a lot to be able to write like that.

Finally, sending out good thoughts to the terrific poet, blogger, and all-around good guy Brent Goodman. In case you hadn't heard, he had a heart attack a few days ago and is hanging out in the cardiac ward for a little while. And what's really amazing is he's still writing and posting a poem every day. Now that's heart.


Megan said...

Okay, that's it, I'm getting "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" from the library! Have you read his wife Nicole Krauss's bestseller "The History of Love?"

And re: Brent Goodman, I officially feel like the laziest slacker ever. That's amazing!

Anne said...

Megan - let me know what you think of it! I loved it, but then, I sometimes love things other people don't. And no, I haven't read his wife's book... didn't even know they were married. Apparently I'm way behind on literary gossip.

David V said...

At a wedding reception once, I turned a corner and bumped into a small troupe of girls headed back to the other event currnetly in progress at the catering center. While I was not making eye contact and sidestepping the three of them (I am a NYC native, you know), one called out "HEY! The Poet Guy". Turns out she had been in my grammar school poetry workshop a few days before.

Weird? Oh, yeah.

And I can't average a poem per day in the living room, let along a hospital. My goodness.

Collin Kelley said...

I've had people come up to me in bookstores and then last fall when I was going through security at the airport. It never stops feeling weird.

Lyle Daggett said...

I was walking home from the bus stop one day, and a short distance from my apartment a guy got out of a car that had pulled up at the curb -- somebody I'd never seen before -- and he looked at me with a look of slight recognition, and said, "Are you a poet?" Turned out he'd seen me on a public access cable TV show I'd done recently.

The most surprising one was when I was depositing my paycheck at the bank one time, and the bank teller asked me "Are you a writer?" She'd seen an article of mine in a local literary newsletter.

Jessie Carty said...

Can't wait to get recognized for being a poet :)

Lisa Allender said...

Congrats, Anne on being "recognized" as the poet/writer you are! I'm not as accomplished as you all are, who are commenting here, but have been "recognized" as a poet seen around town, and in Georgia, for reading my poetry. In Florida, a few folks recognized me from acting gigs.
I like writing because of the "secrecy" of it. Of course, once one becomes accomplished, I suppose one risks "being known", just as actors do.