yesterday, the UPS man delivered my copy of denise duhamel’s newest poetry collection blowout, and i rushed off with it for a reading lunch. i haven’t finished it yet, but what i’ve read so far is really speaking to me. take this (about exes) from “Madonna and Me:”
“… and pick up
younger women who would say
I don’t know how you put up with that
and the new women would puff up the egos
that had been flattened
by Madonna and me with our big voices
hogging the spotlight.”
one of the true pleasures in life is to look forward to a book and have it be worthy of the anticipation. and it’s extra special when the content resonates so amazingly you can scream, yes! yes! yes! (a la meg ryan in the fake orgasm in a diner scene in when harry met sally).
like “little icaruses,” a poem i wish i’d written (poets, you know the feeling). i have a few icarus poems started (i’m betting it’s an interesting subject for lots of us), but i’ve never been able to nudge them into anything. my ex got a sun tattoo after we split, and it seemed to beg for an icarus poem or two. in denise’s poem, the “little icaruses” are fly carcasses she finds in the globe when changing a light bulb. she writes about screwing in the new bulb (“the new sun”). she writes about “paint[ing] on new lips” and “driv[ing] out / into the risky neon mist.”
that’s what we do, right? get back out there. we need affection and intimacy and love. new light. new warmth. new day.
it’s true not just of romance, but about writing. denise is one of those poets that makes me excited about being a poet. reading her work always inspires me to give myself a pep talk: “ok, sister. no more sitting on the bench. you belong in the game, girlfriend. quit your belly-aching… all that worrying’s going to give you bad hair.”
when i started this post, i remembered writing about denise’s poems a while back. so i checked. here it is: a poem after re-reading the abba poems (the poem’s no longer online, but my brief notes on duhamel and lemmon’s collection remain). reading that post again after all these months made me laugh. i wrote:
some of you who know me on facebook saw my declaration that i’d quit online dating. it was true. i have since re-activated them (*sigh*), but i’d deleted them initially for a few reasons: i lost interest in sifting through profiles and pictures, i wanted to reclaim some of the time i was investing (wasting?) and i began to wonder if i was becoming the jack-ass whisperer, a term coined by the terrific blog post at the other end of that link.
what’s funny about that? it’s dated 10/21. my very next match.com date after writing that post (less than a week after writing it, actually)… he’s still around.