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Michael Ruby reads from The Mouth of the Bay

The inspiration to write comes from many places and in many ways, as many ways to write as there are people, who want to do it and bring fresh perspectives to the written page delivered through their urges and inclinations, their mediums and their muses. Michael Ruby wrote THE MOUTH OF THE BAY over a period of twenty years on the rocky coast of Frenchman Bay in Maine. From this concrete landscape the poet experimented with abstraction, “unconscious landscapes” as he calls them, where land meets sea, in “trance positions,” using a place much like the prompts that surrealists used a hundred years ago to draw and write spontaneous images. In THE MOUTH OF THE BAY, Michael Ruby discovers words when he looks, and sometimes doesn’t look, or better said, the words that come to him when he looks in the other direction, which is how the poet begins the book riffing off the writings of pre-Socratic philosophers, conjuring language at its most basic, at the moment of creation, which can be surprising and fun, new directions understanding sounds and words differently than when we first saw and heard them.

A good example, which I have picked at random, is from the poet’s poem inspired by a line of Anaximander, There are an infinite number of worlds, some always coming into being, some always perishing:

There are an infinite number of worlds…

Tears are not
Broken houses
Frame

Rest stops
Perfect

Phonebooks paydays plasma
Poolhalls running dogs

Flowers for breaths
Flowers for no one
Flowers for air

…some always perishing



Here is one of the landscape poems that Michael reads on the Vimeo.

THE FLOWING BLUE

………………for Tom Raworth

The flowing blue
telegraphs
the stationary impulse
to ride
Hofstadter

irregular
service station
quietus
dormitory

thrills
the horse
the meat
rowing

The flowing blue
together
toils
polished
banderillas

trills
this physical
tomcat
mercenary

tethers
health
Oregon
responsibility law

The flowing blue
perfects
registers
tolerates
dime-a-dozen

dons
further
very hauled
pursing

eggs
respect
within an inch
of Silverado

The flowing blue
polishes
further
elephantine
poo-poo

honests
random
perky
pellets

demon
hostiles
teddy
resonance

The flowing blue
elks
method
electric
pressure

calculate
two
rising
solid

The flowing blue
eats
holiday
polish
ice cream

beaut
Malcolm
haggard
tolerance

The flowing blue
pursues
simple Simon
ends
doesn’t end


The Mouth Of The Bay is published by BlazeVOX, editor Geoffrey Gatza. You can check them out here, along with videos from a performance:

http://www.blazevox.org/index.php/Shop/new-releases/the-mouth-of-the-bay-by-michael-ruby-524/


Michael Ruby



Michael Ruby on Frenchman Bay in Winter Harbor, Maine


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