Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Cafe Muse Season: Leslie Harrison & Rebekah Remington

On a blustery cold January 6, 2014, Cafe Muse hosts Laura Golberg and Gwenn Gebhard presented Leslie Harrison & Rebekah Remington reading from their prize-winning books. We were a cozy group of 22 listening first to Michael Davis play his classical guitar while eating apple pie and sipping cocoa and tea. 

Leslie read this poem of the supernatural:


It was all about objects, their objections
expressed through a certain solidity.

My house for example still moves
through me, moves me.
When I tried to reverse the process
I kept dropping things, kept finding myself
in the basement.

Windows became more than
usually problematic.
I wanted to break them
which didn’t work, though for awhile

I had more success with the lake.

The phone worked for a long time
though when I answered
often nobody was there.

Bats crashed into me at night,
but then didn’t anymore.

The rings vanished from my hand,
the pond.

I stopped feeling the wind.

One day the closets were empty.

Another day the mirrors were.

from Displacement Poems, winner of 2008 The Bakeless Prize

copyright (c) 2009 Leslie Harrison

Rebekah read this poem about the earthquake that damaged the National Cathedral:


I was there.

The fan trembled.

The plant trembled.

The rented room became one faint undulation.

Great Aunt Mary said, “I think we should we should go.”

Outside, the sun reigned.

The sand was as usual. Striped umbrellas.

Women in tankinis, their happy and unhappy bodies,

walking along, and the ocean liners far off, all unshaken.

Later we bought a six pack and a bag of groceries.

Did you feel it? a stranger in line asked.

The National Cathedral, a place I have visited only twice,

lost three pinnacles off its central tower.

What else? Nothing else, or this:

the bees come, the apples.

In September my son writes an essay called “Brave Boy,”

and the teacher calls his handwriting sloppy.

The vagabond stands on the green island,

and the light changes.

Why do the bees sound so happy this year?

Why are the houses all awake,

shining lights even in daylight?

The anti-confessional prodigal daughter

goes about her business, filing papers, buying groceries.

When I stand in the white glow of the refrigeration zone

in Paradise Liquors it’s the names I love:

Flying Dog, Resurrection, Woody Creek.

It’s not all about high alcohol content.

Shock Top, Raging Bitch, Blue Moon.

Something for the afternoon, when the children

mine for virtual diamonds.

How do I get a pickaxe?

Press B.

The bees come. The apples.

from Asphalt, winner of the 2013 Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize
copyright (c) 2013 Rebekah Remington

The next Cafe Muse program on February 3 features JoAnne Growney & Stephanie Strickland.

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