Page 24 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 24

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020

                                             "The light comes slowly"

        My  depression  vanished.  The  poem  suddenly

        came alive, "the urge to kill" becoming "the urge
        to  killowatts,"  to  energy.  Its  seemingly  obvious
        discovery that literature was made out of letters
        was extraordinarily liberating, and its concluding
        lines,  only  half-understood  when  I  wrote  them,
        "the  page  is  not  the  /  natural  dividing  point,"
        thrust  me  into  an  entirely  new  direction.  A
        sequence of such poems followed.

        Such  poems  were  tremendously  exciting,  but,
        apart from Adelle, I had no audience and no idea
        where to present my work.

        Meeting  poet  Ivan  Argüelles  in  1985  changed

        almost everything.

        I  had  known  Ivan's  wife,  Marilla,  because  she
        taught  at  Sean's  elementary  school,  Park  Day
        School in Oakland. I also knew that Ivan was a
        widely-published poet, but I hadn't read much of
        his poetry. I ran into Marilla at a party given by
        an  old  friend  of  Adelle's  mother.  I  had  recently
        gotten  to  know  Ishmael  Reed,  whose  daughter,
        Tennessee, was attending Park Day. I mentioned
        Ishmael to Marilla, who told me that Ivan might
        be  interested  in  meeting  him.  I  said,  "Maybe  I          Jack Foley hosting “The Performance
        can  arrange  that,"  and  was  introduced  to  Ivan,          Poetry Bash,” National Poetry Week, Fort
                                                                        Mason, San Francisco. 1988. Photo by
        who gave me two of his books to read.                                      Jenny Chu.

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