He also made a great chapbook for the occassion (a gamebook for the perplexed). He opened the reading with a great little salespitch without naming the product (thus framing the reading and lubricating the audience at the same time).
Then he read a good chunk from _Irresponsibility_. It was nice to hear a larger chunk of the ms. Listen and contemplate the ethics of "accurate" language and working vacations. Ask him about his chapbook of games
(over at: The Delay). Maybe he has a few extra copies. It will amuse and chart new pathways for your own language games.
After Chris, Cole Swensen read some amazing poems about hands. Lyrical in the best sense. Like Chris, an exactness. Spare. Cut. She also read some fascinating poems that focused on the connections between the garden and the military (an unlikey likely connection. order over chaos/nature/woman. geometric designs. well-clipped square hedges etc.)
Swensen also read from her recently released book _Goest_ which centers around light (which city was the first lit? London or Paris?)
After the Desert City Reading we moved to Todd and Laura's house for the traditional blue door reception and mini reading. Evie Shockley wowed us all with her unmatched pacing, intimacy, passion. We all gathered around. Leaned in. Hung on to every word. She read some very powerful poems. Including one connecting the The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and the current practice of using Latino and African American kids for experimental HIV drugs.
Also picked upa copy of NO: A Journal of the Arts and Joe Donahue gave me a copy of the latest Talisman. I am excited to devour them.