If you can call it that. No San Francisco for me this year. Went to Portland in a rental car and sold some books to Powell's. Ate at Kenny & Zuke's, Silk, and a slightly dirty taco shop whose name I can't recall (best al pastor taco I've had in ages).
Came home to two packages, one containing Will Oldham's latest, a slim collection of cover songs mixed with one original. This time around, Will tackles R. Kelly and Glenn Danzig, among others. Worth a listen. Ask Forgiveness.
The other parcel, or rather its contents, have me thinking about being an editor, or in my case a sometimes editor. We want to open an envelope or an email and be greeted with brilliance. This happens, of course, almost never.
Gabriel Gudding's Rhode Island Notebook is a massive tome, bigger than a lot of poets' Collecteds. Maybe it's my general distaste for long poems, or my short attention span, or my disappointment at what at the time I viewed as Gudding's "new style," or "new direction," but I must confess that when Gabe was posting sections of this long poem on list-servs, or publishing bits of them here and there in journals, I had little interest in the project. A few years ago, he sent The Canary a long section of this poem and while I read it with interest, I knew we wouldn't be able to take it. Our official explanation was that it was too long. For all intents and purposes, it really was--we had only a few pages left in the issue. But, but...something tells me that if I had been able to grasp the brilliance of this writing, this "new" Gudding at the time, I'd have fought for it. Yesterday afternoon I read a good portion, and then again in the evening. I'm pretty blown away by how messy, heartbreaking, and absolutely essential each line is. This is a LONG poem I'm not sure I want to end just yet. Do you know how long it's been since I've read something that's made me feel like that?