Hear it in the deep heart's core

Glory be to hooch for painted things—
For bleach-blonde strippers, collagen-plumped lips;
For pink acrylic nails and spike-heeled shoes;
Bright thong bikinis; belly-button rings;
Wet T-shirts; tan lines; liposuctioned hips;
Mascara; lip gloss; butterfly tattoos

—from "Dyed Beauty" by James Wilk in Shoulders, Fibs, and Lies (Pudding House Press, 2007) 

So I finally made the trip to Innisfree on the Hill, a new Boulder bookstore stocking only poetry.  I pretty much just went the first night their community events coincided with my spare time, but it turned out to be good timing, as they were featuring the work of Dr. James Wilk.  I arrived just before the reading and the small (but well appointed) space was rather full.  I enjoyed the reading and the craft and humor of the poet's work, including the poem from which I quote above.  It's another "Pied Beauty' parody, of course; earlier on Copia I mentioned "Carnal Beauty," Kate Bernadette Benedict's own play on the poem that came out in The Flea in January.  That was back when I first discovered that great journal, and since then I'm proud to say they've accepted a couple of my poems for publication later this year.


Speaking of my own poems, I should mention my own poem, "Dream Residue", which appeared in The Nervous Breakdown today (I am an editor and regular contributor there, so that's less of a feat).

Can't believe I stayed asleep to give 
Honey slope après ski GPS, 
Real life need-to-piss bringing the cock-block; 
Her black greek letter accent fading fast 
With harem eyes under bright bluebird skies 
To duller daybreak wink of bluing chalk… 
Damn! I planned to smash that like Thor's hammer. 
The ferry over cream slides cruel to dock.

But back to the Wilk reading.  I made a few neat discoveries on the night as well.  Wilk mentioned Eaven Boland's poem Anorexic, which apparently is rather a phenomenon in the circles, though it was new to me, the rather elliptical.

Flesh is heretic.
My body is a witch.
I am burning it.

Yes I am torching
her curves and paps and wiles.
They scorch in my self denials.

How she meshed my head
in the half-truths
of her fevers

till I renounced
milk and honey
and the taste of lunch.

I vomited
her hungers.
Now the bitch is burning.
—from Anorexic by Eaven Boland

Rather packs a punch, doesn't it?  Wilk also mentioned Turner Cassity, and in particular "Meaner than a Junkyard Dog." Both are poems to which he had responded with his own.

I'll surely be back to Innisfree for more poetry and company.  Who can resist that quiet cabin on the lake, especially when the lake is constantly whispering what is best received in the heart's core.