Tuesday, May 20, 2008

James Lenfestey reading at Gulf of Maine

Poet James Lenfestey will leave his hermit cave to come read to us on Friday, May 30, at 7 PM from his new book A Cartload of Scrolls - 100 Poems in the Manner of T'ang Dynasty Poet Han Shan.

Here are two poems from the book:

#44 Plumes of paper mill steam

On a piece of lined paper the size of a Chinese poem
I write a Chinese-sized poem.
The words sound like English because I stand where I was born,
on the shore of a Great Lake. Her forests and rivers
unroll around me in plumes of paper mill steam.
I hope to get to China before I die,
where paper was invented, poetry before that.
There my verses will turn into faces.
The people will nod with gentility and respect.

#14 The Poet Joke

So three poets enter a bar.
The first gets drunk and raves.
The second seethes jealously in the corner booth.
The third? Ahhh, the third
rises up off the barstool
in smoke and flames,
ash floating in the air like dark feathers.


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