On December 15, a Sunday afternoon, a great crowd gathered at Zinc Bar to listen to Fanny Howe and Rae Armantrout read. There had been a reading of Fanny Howe’s work the night before at Poets House, but I was teaching a class, and couldn’t be there. But I was here now. I like poets who don’t read long, who leave you wanting more, knowing they have given you enough in what you heard, every word.
In the Vimeo below, the poet reads from her new book, Love and I. She says as she starts that the book has little to do with love. But don’t believe her. Why even Howe and Love share the same vowels. Hear for yourself and enjoy.
A poem from Love and I that isn’t in the Vimeo.
The clatter of rain has a personal meaning.
This is the time to meditate or write down your dreams.
But the lover can do neither, can only wander
From room to room trying not to spill what’s so precious.
Around the lover are myriad sounds.
Thoughts shine through like water.
Forms, shapes, colors, stations are glorified in the morning.
Indecipherable, almost transparent.
Fear of loss takes root in the blood of the lover.
Words form, interpretations.
Miracles: no one there where someone was.
Someone here where no one was.
The stars that shine are sparks and coal.
As if to show experience purifies existence.
Experience was everything to me.
(This is what the uneducated would say.)
Every word must come from my acts direct.
But I know the difficulty too.
Who will believe what I do?
Love and I is published by Graywolf Press. You can check them out here:
Love and I is reviewed in the New Yorker. You can check it out here: