July 22, 2008

I Was Lost, Then I Was Found

...by Mark Jarman's wife. Or at least, she found my nametag. It was amazing how naked I'd felt without it, running around campus (retracing my steps) on this muggiest, most godforsaken of Tuesdays.

One of the things I look forward to doing, when I get home, is putting together a round-up of the books I've gotten here. But in the meantime, feast your eyes on this beauty:

Other Latitudes
by Brian Brodeur

Winner of the 2007 Akron Poetry Prize
Chosen by Stephen Dunn
For the Akron Series in Poetry

...available directly from the University of Akron Press, or Amazon or Barnes & Noble (though I'd strongly recommend ordering straight from the press).

I first met Brian when we both read at the Virginia Book Festival, for the 2005 edition of Best New Poets. Here's a poem of his that is on my mind tonight:


for Erin

As she clutches the metal ribs of the hospital bed—
still dreamy with pain and the morphine drip

they’ve started to wean her off—my sister
sucks ice chips from the nurse’s latex hand.

From her room on the fifth floor, she’s watched
rainwater pool and dissipate on tar-streaked roofs,

heaves of cloud-shadow drag across the courtyard
where shirtless men clear last season’s leaf-rot.

The fresh-stitched wound above her collarbone
bristles like a caterpillar. Her dark hair

spreads its root system over the pillow and her eyes
open and close, rolling back in her head.


Sisters, in general, are on my mind tonight. Tomorrow I am sneaking away to Nashville for the day, to visit some rarely-seen friends. Tonight I am laying low, in my black satin pajamas, and to those I am ignoring at the conference--please forgive me. Sometimes we just have to be anti-social.


Maggie May said...

we went to Nashville for family vacation a few years ago, and the heat was 105! it was humid and awesome. atmospheric. i found it incredibly romantic. it's the southern in my bones, i guess.

Lisa Allender said...

Love the Brodeur poem...
And go ahead and enjoy being alone. It feeds the muse.