And I have a poem in it, "What Is Owed," dedicated to poet Dominik Parisien, because he'd written a poem for me out of the blue (it is currently hanging on my study wall, by the powers of sweaty Scotch tape and a prayer), and I felt I owed him. And I thought, "What an odd thing, to owe anybody a poem. Owing words and rhymes. And for what? For another poem."
However, I've bartered for jam with poetry before; why not barter for a friendship? It's the only coin I'm rich in anyway.
But it took me a while to read the other ones. I don't know why but I sometimes find myself oddly reluctant to read poetry. What if I don't get it? What if I don't like it? What if it is SO GOOD THAT I NEVER WANT TO WRITE AGAIN??? (This often happens with Goblin Fruit poems.)
However. Today is my day off. And I should be writing. So instead I read the latest issue of Goblin Fruit.
I'd only just read the first one before I hopped off the issue, opened a new tab with the help of the link in his bio, and wrote this to the poet:
Dear Dan Campbell,
Frikkin GREAT poem in Goblin Fruit this issue. Very fine stuff!
I was starting to read through all the poems, but didn't get past the first, because I had to rush over here and friend you on LJ.
I should probably Google you and read all the rest of 'em too.
I then skipped mine (I'd read THAT one, anyway, the day the issue came out, because of solipsism or something, I don't know), and read Rose Lemberg's poem. I couldn't go further after that because I had to hop on Facebook and write this:
Do you remember at Readercon, when Rose Lemberg made me turn sick and faint with her unbelievably transcendent reading of her poem "I will show you a single treasure from the treasures of Shah Niyaz"?
You DON'T? Well, that poem, and her voice reading it, are in the newest issue of Goblin Fruit.
THAT poem. HER voice. An almost unbearable beauty.
And after that I went on to read "Deity of Heat" (pant) and "Desire Lines" (gasp! wait! what? YOU MEAN YOU CAN DO THAT IN A POEM??? how???!!!) and "Goddess" (wailey wailey wailey). And had to express the despair of such loveliness with yet another Facebook post. (Yes, I know. But I can't help it. I can only be myself.)
I keep reading these poems. This new issue of Goblin Fruit. I am starting to feel sick. I am full of longing. I should never write another poem. I should write ALL THE POETRY. How do these people do the things they are doing? I want to do that. I want to do something else too. I want to do something no one has done before. Why am I reading poetry when I should be writing? I must finish reading this poetry.
Then came "singing the plains" (waaaaaahhhhh! elephants!!! I love ELEPHANTS!!! this has been a week of elephant stories and pictures and I love them and waaaaaahhhh!!!) and the final poem "Better Late Than Never," which brought everything to its finest conclusion.
And so I wrote (sigh) on Facebook:
It begins and ends with hollow bones.
You laid these poems out like a bone mosaic, Amal!
In the shape of some long-extinct bird.
I loved this issue. I am glad I read it right now, when I should have been doing something else.
It is best to read poetry under some imaginary shadow of the forbidden.
And that, I'm afraid, is all I have to say about THAT.
I hope it made you want to read it. I hope it makes you thirsty. I'm pretty sure I need a drink, anyway.