Friday, July 1, 2011
A couple of weirdnesses. I did my exorcism reading at the Frost Place and then opened my email, from which I learned that Guernica wants to publish "Son-in-Law" and that an NPR affiliate in Santa Cruz has recorded "Ugly Town." Two hard-to-take Harmony poems in one fell swoop. If you happen to have been in the Frost barn during my reading, you'll know why this all seems so strange and, yes, unnerving. If you weren't there, I'll explain that I wrote "Son-in-Law" at about this time last year and that its characters are based on my friend Linda and her son-in-law Steven Lake, who murdered Linda's daughter and grandchildren a couple of weeks ago. And "Ugly Town" appeared in the British journal New Walk last year. It's the poem J. E. Coetzee is rumored to like, which adds yet another layer of je-ne-sais-quoi to the situation. I haven't listened to the recording, but Ruth tells me the reader is sweeter-tempered about the poem than I tend to be.