September 19, 2011, at Café Muse, The Word Works had the pleasure of hearing poets Megan Synder Camp and Michele Wolf read from their new books as well as host Greg McBride who gave moving tribute to our recently departed friend Ann Knox.
Here are the opening poems from The Forest of Sure Things by Megan Snyder-Camp:
O sockeye O rock sole O starry flounder
O red Irish lord O spiny lumpsucker
Dear threespine stickleback, sweet broken-backed shrimp—
hear the dreadful voices from the balcony. You’re the blind
taking the bull by the horns. You’re snow on a stick,
a stuck jukebox, a ribbon-swamped trike. O gum boot,
O lemon peel nudibranch—do not fear the leafy horn-mouth;
dogwinkle and moon snail walk the floor and burn their bridges.
Lonely whitecap limpet, days are not true. You stand on one foot,
and we brush past. To live a life is not to walk across a field.
Pity the ghost shrimp, heart on his sleeve, or the glassy sea squirt,
run through with tears. O to have gathered no moss, to know a clam’s
muddy joy. You shut with a snap, you blur with silt, you poke
among barnacles. A bunch of one-trick ponies, even brave wolf-eel.
Cornered, the plainfin midshipman sings when afraid.
They say it fears only the elusive cloud sponge.
and from Immersion by Michele Wolf:
She recognizes its crest in the way he looks at her.
The wave is as vast as the roiling mass in the Japanese
Print they had paused in front of at the museum,
Capped with ringlets of foam, all surging sinew.
That little village along the shore would be
Totally lost. There is no escaping this.
The wave is flooding his heart,
And he is sending the flood
Her way.It rushes
Can you look at one face
For the whole of a life?
Does the moon peer down
At the tides and hunger for home?
Greg McBride read two poems by Ann Knox and in this video, you can hear one of these. Note the photo of Ann that Greg brought to the reading. It was taken at Ann’s last reading on the day of her death. Ann was a great asset to our literary community and we miss her very much.