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Edmund Berrigan reads from More Gone

In June, one evening, I stopped by Greenlight Books in Flatbush to hear Edmund Berrigan read from his new book from City Lights, More Gone. I’d already heard him read at the Poetry Project a month before, which was the book’s launch, but I am glad that I recorded the reading in Flatbush because it is a reading without a flub, which says to me the poet practiced his words to be perfectly heard and they are worth it.

I’ve typed out the first and last poems in More Gone. The first, In my teens, is on the Vimeo so one can read along, and feel the fear the poet fears, and that I’ve felt myself, the abyss, and yet so easily without a peep we all will sleep. The poem’s succinct and, though about death, leaves me feeling optimistic. The last poem in the book, Friendly Apparitions, is not on the Vimeo. Something about its rhythm reminds me of Bob Dylan’s Queen Jane Approximately, in the sound and the way this funny gentle playful poem begins. Listen. More Gone is enjoyable and I encourage everyone to get out the word.

In my teens

In my teens

I laid in bed

at night

& wondered

in terror

how my consciousness

could cease

until I slept.

Friendly Apparitions

when all of the foils garlic in sisterhood
and the puncture of their punctuality does not remain
as misguided as drastic conclusions ‘d butter up
is when the sweet absence saunters to its corner
and refuses to let you put a pill in its mouth
there is no word for wicked in our language
we don’t treat others or ourselves that way
we simply fuck it up and wait for accepting apologies
but there’s no treatment for knowledge of pain
so we keep singing of the sweet other
the cohort winded brick subtle oeuvre the red cloud
popping in and out for color attentive spot display
and the compound site of her wheel of fortune view
as we head in, you and I in my mind, to the big
fiction that houses concerns among ours and provides
transport from our beginning and end story

More Gone is published by City Lights. They can be checked out here:


Edmund Berrigan

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