Seasonal American Sentences

The Rad Santa reading last night at Lottie’s Lounge was a huge success. Graham Isaac hosted and invited me along with three other writers, including Jocelyn McDonald, Chris Gusta and Ra’anan David and the idea was that we would read some Holiday-themed work. Jocelyn’s story was about a real-life Christmas in which a relationship with a Marxist Ph.D. student fell apart and Chris Gusta had some holiday poems which he realized later all had references to his cat.

I read Frank O’Hara’s Christmas Card to Grace Hartigan:

Frank O’Hara Christmas Card to Grace Hartigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and being the day after the Winter Solstice (my favorite part of the Holiday season) Charles Olson’s:

Sun

right in my eye
4 PM December 2nd arrived
at my kitchen
window blazing
5 at me full in the
face approaching
the hill it sets
behind glaring
in its burst of late
10 heat right on me
and as orange and hot
as sun at noonday practically
can be. Only this one
is straight at me like a
15 beam shot to hit me
It feels like
enforcing itself
on me giving me its
message that it is sliding
20 under the hill and
that I better
hear it say
be hot man
be hot
25 be hot and orange
like I am
I am
sending you
this message as
30 I slip exactly to
West I am burning you man
as I leave I’m even stronger
now just as I
go I am already
35 cooled that much but still
I turn on you
and flare
as I start to
go. But still
40 hot and red now blaring
on the slope of my disappearance
point.
Now I begin to
go hear me I
45 have sent you
the message I am
gone

But I noticed in preparing for the reading that I do not have a lot of Holiday-themed work of my own. I would read my elegy for Wanda Coleman, who died November 22, 2013 and end with my Nine Sonnets for Pop, as my Dad turns 85 on December 27, but knew I could mine my American Sentences for Holiday-themed poems. Yet, even there, the pickings were slim, but I managed to copy a few for my purposes last night and present them with my most sincere wish for a Happy Holiday Season for you and yours despite the ongoing pinko liberal attack on our most sacred of days:

 

About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. https://www.paulenelson.com. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. www.CascadiaPoetryFestival.org (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)

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2 Responses to Seasonal American Sentences

  1. Amand Dowd says:

    Nice. Thanks. Sent this into the world via FB.

  2. Splabman says:

    Happy Holidays Amanda.

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