Sunday, August 02, 2009


It was like this: I thought what everyone else thought about the Monsieurs Dickman – twin poets, Diane Arbusy looking guys with a hint of James Spader – parlor trick, even though no one really has a parlor anymore. I know I don't. So – garage trick? Well, no one has though, either. OK, well, it was some kind of trick. Knowing or thinking that, I read the work in the NYer last year quite quickly and with an evil eye and took nothing away from it. Then I heard this:

and even though this Michael Silverbatt joker has that voice-slithering-up-your-leg sound-in-the-bad-not-the-good-way I was quite taken by the two poems (and back story) that MD (not to be confused with his brother, MD) presented herein. I heard the right voice reading the right poem – all the coy and irony seemed to be quite not there at all and there were some truly beautiful and vulnerable moments in both, with a desire to convey a true feeling, a sentiment of the heart, something that is so hard to come by in poetry these crazy days. Well, perhaps the problem is that they are not crazy enough. Oh, if you read them you will see what I mean, and you should. Sorry, MD1 + MD2, for anything I thought but did not say. I prefer to say when I don't think like I did, but more like I do now.

Only a small part, and with my apologies but I do think

The French
philosopher Gilles Deleuze jumped
from an apartment window into the world
and then out of it.

My brother opened
thirteen fentanyl patches and stuck them on his body
until it wasn’t his body anymore.

Larry Walters became famous
for flying in a Sears patio chair and forty-five helium-filled
weather balloons. He reached an altitude of 16,000 feet
and then he landed. He was a man who flew.
He shot himself in the heart. In the morning I get out of bed, I brush
my teeth, I wash my face, I get dressed in the clothes I like best.
I want to be good to myself.

it's beautiful


Molly Gaudry said...

Of course I had thought it the other way around. But good. I prefer to speak and say things this way, too. Well done. I'll go listen to the poem now.

He's got a lovely one in the Tin House issue with the cross stitching on the cover. About being a geek.

Tortilla ex Machina said...

Thanks, Molly. I do love it when the voice (actual) of the poet gives the poem greater resonance. Definitely the case here, I think.

Whenever I can, I try to hear the writer speak his work. Jack Kerouac was one author who I appreciated more because of the Steve Allen Show, for example. Also, Dylan Thomas, who is nigh on unbelievable. F Scott Fitzgerald is almost unearthly. And then there are some ... Auden? Ever heard him? It's a little goofy, doing that.

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