In addition to the sweet visit from Brian Oliu and the Alabama Undergradsthis week, I got to see Mark Halliday and Terrance Hayes read in Indy on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Here is a quick rundown of each, followed by one of my favorite poems by each poet:
Halliday: odd quirky personality, like mix of emotionally tender and cynical, style comes across so well during reading, went with Todd, Sara, Cody, and Tyler, Butler has a sweet reading series (HICOK STILL TO COME), got Jab, got Jab autographed, super fun.
Hayes: Really good reader, pace and tone, tried to be funny at times and came off as COME ON MAN, stopped in middle of a poem to explain something=lame, NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER, poems seem deep like goodness, went with Ashley, Cody, Tyler, and DJ, ate at a 50's diner which was cool, U of Indy, Hayes wears two watches, bought Lighthead, got Lighthead signed, so did Tyler, our books look identical.
ODE: THE CAPRIS
by Mark Halliday
from Tasker Street
How do I feel about "There's a Moon Out Tonight"
by the Capris?
I thought you'd never ask
Marcia Koomen lived across Cherry Lane
getting tall, taller than me in fifth grade
and smiling behind her glasses, she knew something.
The summer nights in Raleigh were thick
with something bright in the dark; you could ride
bikes under the moon and in and out of
lampshine at the corner of Wade and Dogwood,
not caring about touching a girl, or, later,
not caring much still but happy to be a boy
who could some day "have" a girl, and be conscious of
a shivering beauty caught in the word girl
There's a girl at my side
that I adore
-the Capris knew something all together
and it called for this new verb, to adore;
something out there ahead of my bicycle in the dark;
I cared a loy about Paladin on "Have Gun - Will Travel"
but did I adore him? Scotty Koomen, years older,
got sort of pale and brittle when he went to visit
a certain girl in his class, he seemed to have trouble
There's a glow in my heart
I never felt before
- not exactly in my heart yet but it was
what would be there if I rode just maybe deeper down
Dogwood Lane in the busy dark.
Across Dogwood lived Ann Dailey
who had freckles and an awesome kind of largeness,
not fat but big and this made my eyes feel hot and burny;
she moved slowly doing chores in her yard,
her long tanning thighs seemed sarcastic
as if she knew soon her freckled beauty must positively
carry her somehow out, out and away...And
Shelby Wilson one night kissed her on the lips.
I saw it happen - on the sofa in the basement -
her folks weren't home. Right on the lips!
Amazing lips are in your future, boy. That's
what the Capris were telling me; the North Carolinia moon
is natural and it can find you anywhere;
you have to let the moon paint you and your bike
and the picture of Elvis in your pocket
and it shines down on Marcia's hair
and on the thought of the green eyes of Ann Dailey.
Ride and wait, wait and watch;
you laugh, you shiver in the summer - cool - dark.
You speak of the Yankees and the Pirates but
cut a side glance at Marcia's tall shape
but when she says anything serious exasperate her
yelling Little Richard's wop bop alu bop
but this dodging, dodging will end -
the Capris being on Marcia's side.
Baby, I never felt this way before
I guess it's because there's a moon out tonight
and once that shining starts
no amount of irony will ever quite ride the Capris out of town.
I picture a deep pool with yellow flowers drifting
on the surface. The song pours up
out of that pool.
by Terrance Hayes
from Muscular Music
They are like those crazy women
who tore Orpheus
when he refused to sing,
these men grinding
in the strobe & black lights
of Pegasus. All shadow & sound.
"I'm just here for the music,"
I tell the man who asks me
to the floor. But I have held
a boy on my back before.
Curtis & I used to leap
barefoot into the creek; dance
among maggots & piss,
beer bottles & tadpoles
slippery as sperm;
we used to pull off our shirts,
& slap music into our skin.
He wouldn't know me now
at the edge of these lovers' gyre,
glitter & steam, fire,
bodies blurred sexless
by the music's spinning light.
A young man slips his thumb
into the mouth of an old one,
& I am not that far away.
The whole scene raw & delicate
as Curtis's foot gashed
on a sunken bottle shard.
They press hip to hip,
each breathless as a boy
carrying a friend on his back.
The foot swelling green
as the sewage in that creek.
We never went back.
But I remember his weight
better than I remember
my first kiss.
These men know something
I used to know.
How could I not find them
beautiful, the way they dive & spill
into each other,
the way the dance floor
wet & holy in its mouth.