Thursday, March 22, 2012

Odes & Offerings Eve

     I believe this is considered the Eve of the Opening for Odes & Offerings, a collaborative art event where 36 poets sent me four poems and then I worried about all the poets I didn't invite and even more about the ones who never even blew me off, just didn't respond, and the 36 artists who were juried in, not by me, but by people who didn't include a few of my best friends.  That collaboration. It is the Eve even though it isn't 6:00 AM yet and there was barely a calendar listing in The Reporter.
     I am pretty sure the Reporter has it in for me, perhaps because I am over sixty and long-married and live next to my chickens.  They have never even mentioned in two years that I got to be PL and serve the city in ways visible and invisible, not once. Maybe they have an anti-poet laureate policy or had a friend they thought would have done a better job.
     Maybe they got wind of what I have been saying about their Dan Savage column, that though I know from my very hip bi-sexual and tall friend that he only talks about consensual sex,  and have considered her response, still, some of the kids don't need free access to some of his topics.  I lap it up like yogurt, but only in an over sixty, long married, living next to the chickens and two turkeys sort of way. I am the grandmother of three and I occasionally feel that Dan Savage should run his column by the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers or the Pope.  Not that I am bitter that The Reporter featured a really interesting tattoo artist's history of the swastika, a piece about Steve Reich's "Different Trains" which is a composition I adore, and my friend Jeremy's show which I will go to, and barely a calendar listing for the 72 artists involved in this show. I want to go on record here saying that I am a big fan of tattoo art, I really am, and speak out for it at many public occasions.  But I am also a pretty huge fan of poetry, and that is why I got the idea to have it smuggled into the visual arts. Come on you art-centric city, cut us some slack.  I think perhaps I am not behaving well, representing my city. Maybe it is what happens at the end of a two year tenure, or, as a friend said, racing for the barn.
     I am really just back from Florida where the highlight of the trip besides the beaches, the food, the lap pool, and perhaps breaking my little toe was Shell Lumber.  My brother took me there.  He is nine years my elder, but I sort of caught up, and since my childhood he has known what I love.  He bought me a doll with nylon stockings from his summer job money, got me my first library card, and took me to a frat party when I was nine. Now he and I are both grandparents and both love hardware stores.  The thing about Shell Lumber is that they have about three city blocks of lumber,  They have wood with names you never heard of and so they have the pronunciation right on the tag along with $11.50 per foot.  My favorite thing was the molding display which was beautiful and covered an entire wall.  I loved the shapes of it, the skinny and the fluted, and I did document on my cell phone which I don't know how to use, being over 60, rural, and married so long we each have our areas of expertise. So, try to image how beautiful this molding, only the ends mind you, is.  There is a certain old school eros in beautifully displayed lumber.
     That is how I feel about poetry.  It is the non structural part of life, the part that covers over the seams, connects the wall to the floor, and is totally useless except for beauty. There are crown moldings and cornice, dentil, egg and dart, and the ever popular rope molding.  I think they correspond to poetic forms that decorate the cracks.  My brother and I delighted in the bustle of the Floridian bros,  and he bought my husband a SHELL LUMBER cap. I talked non-stop, the entire week of my visit, at the pool and at dinner, about this art show.  My brother and Carol even gave me a check to help document the event.  My friend Tobie-who-is-here-on-Sabbatical (that is her name) suggested I use the check to buy an outfit for the opening. I might swing by St. Francis de Paws thrift store and see if they have anything that is not too hardware looking.  Oh, The Reporter did mention me once when my book was voted one of the Best of Santa Fe,without me lobbying anyone to do so, a common practice.  They listed me on the un-cool side of their coolness spectrum. I kid you not, as my 9th grade teacher was wont to say.
   Well, the turkeys need to be fed and I need to see what practices Dan Savage is condoning and explaining to the uninitiated this week.  The paper is feeling pretty thin.  I am sure they were just on a poetry intolerance diet, like all my friends who eat no wheat or dairy. I promise I will not sneak into town and peek through the Community Gallery windows.

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