Tuesday evening, October 20th, I begin my poetry class at CIIS in San Francisco entitled Eating Poetry. There may be room for a couple more people, if you are interested. As is my habit, I have been reading and digging through my books and papers and stuffing myself with words.

X-tatic eggplant

X-tatic eggplant

Given the culinary title, I find myself in a kind of Julia Childs Poetry Kitchen. This situation may  be dicey, invoking a burned sonnet full of iams, or a crushed carton of egg-like similes. With luck, I can pull off a delicious prose poem souffle. Julia was known to say: “I just hate health food.” I like this one: “It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” You could say that. About poetry. TamamCIIS10'09

Eating Poetry Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
The librarian does not believe what she sees…

I’m excited about They Feed They Lion by Phil Levine, not just because of the “feed” word, but because this poem effects me deeply and I don’t know why; it is disturbing and beautiful. “Out of burlap sacks, out of bearing butter…” Bearing butter? As in ball-bearing grease? Yuck. “…They feed they Lion and he comes.” That ‘s the last line. You need to look it up and see for your self.

Here is a wonderful poem by a poet named Joseph Hutchison:  Artichoke ~  O heart weighed down by so many wings. [That’s the poem!@! Yes.]

Gustave Flaubert writes: Language is a cracked kettle on which we bang out tunes to make the bears dance, when what we long for is to move the stars to pity.


Books I’ve been reading: “Ordinary Genius,” by Kim Addonizio and “The Poetry Home Repair Manual,” by Ted Kooser. Wonderful reading.

The food theme is making me feel bloated. The Tums and Po Chai are in the medicine cabinet.

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