MFA Graduation Reading – May 11, 2019

MFA Graduation Reading – May 11, 2019

January 25, 2020 1 By Stanley Isaacs


This is a production of Cornell University Hello it’s my honor to welcome each and every one of you to the 2019 MFA Graduation Reading. To be here to feel the support of you all is invigorating humbling and validating for myself and my peers. We’d like to thank the Pinkett family the faculty and staff of the creative writing and English departments the MFA’s who came before us and those who were able to with who we were able to meet this year all of these individuals for their generosity patience and minds. I’d like to thank personally my cohort who has welcomed loved and taught me craft wise mind wise heart wise thank you all for joining me and joining us in celebration of what the last two years have held what the present moment ignites and what the time ahead offers. So our first reader is Remy Barnes. Remy’s fiction appears or is forthcoming in the Iowa review Mississippi review the South Hampton review and elsewhere. From Tallahassee by way of Texas he is at work on a novel set on the Gulf Coast. [Applause] Reading not available It’s with immense pleasure that I introduce my friend and poet Chris Hewitt. Christopher Hewitt is a poet from Dallas and the San Francisco Bay Area. A hummingbird and drag queen enthusiast he loves anything that shimmers. His work often reflects this Magpie sensibility as well as a love for rhyme and meter. His poems are appearing or forthcoming in riprap 32 poems and he would like to thank you for listening. [Applause] Thank You Remy for your wonderful fiction and your dulcet tones. [Laughter] How’s everybody? Can I get a yeehaw? Yeehaw! Thank you thank you okay. [Laughter] Okay I’m gonna read four poems hopefully if I can get through them all the first one is called “View from the Berkeley Hills.” “A seagull larger than the golden Gate’s airbrushed silhouette across the water flies and wilts to a gray-white millimeter bumper-to-bumper traffic granulates to platinum glints next to which a BART train slides eight matte gray aluminum cars oblong beads on low gauge wire acres inches each passenger a handheld heart and bungalows abstracted down this slope to redwood tufted geometrics relinquish room for cirrus accurate spatial language amplifies and shrinks just as a telescope magnifies that tooth in the bay to a sail bellying on the waters rippling gossamer or flipped around concentrates the summer cyan translucence all our lungs inhale.” This next one features a well it’s a letter from one fictional persona to another fictional persona these two people Theo and Lynne who keep emerging in my poems. It’s called “Residency at the Quartz Tower.” “Dear Lynn” Where’s Lynn? Hi Lynn! [Laughter] “Dear Lynn imagine red sand for miles and miles and the noon heat’s false water shimmering horizon hard and crisp severing the desert from the cloudless sky camel- smells the warm flavors of goatskin water dates like leather the guides white robe rippling like a laundered sheet three days of this so when the horizon sprouts a needlepoint of glass which as I near it rises swells glistens up from the quivering mirage becoming can it be yes a quartz tower as if one day a waterspout froze and over time the sea dried up around it do I trust my eyes does that question matter the Oasis proved itself real enough for me where the date-palms cast over shallows faint serrated shadows like carbon paper cut with safety scissors and where domes a girl lifting a basket and a goat chewing grass refused to be other than what they were facts beguile take this silica high rise I’ve come to hewn from pure rock netted throughout with seams that look like cirrus yet otherwise translucent so you see blurry movement within like leaves that flow beneath the brooks winter glaze craftsmen have etched the entire facade with vines flowers shells fish whatever embodies waters limber sinews down to the ogees above the double doors welcome celebrated guest greeted the monk who led me into the tower at the center of which an eye to the storm one hollow column fills with light blindingly so where spiral stairs wound to my room a slab for sleeping chair and desk chiseled from the same crystal the monk bowed and left me to write this letter to you Lynne I must confess that though I’ve come all this way pursuing the dream made real the real made dream now that I’ve arrived I think only of you the garden the house why when given the chance to rediscover the world refresh the senses does the mind reach back for what it knows comfort perhaps or newfound gratitude not that one wallows for long just now overhead a fellow guest piglet-pink blurry but clearly nude pressed himself to the floor for some afternoon yoga friends come easily here to dwell in membranes permeable and rigid revealing and concealing both false and true what better place than this for a simple ode to Chihuly’s enormous columns remember in Seattle apparently I’m staying in one and soon to my room on a platter orange slices pomegranate seeds and bovine ligament stewed in paper-thin slices of onion will calm my little qualms I’ll write again to report on how the tower looks in moonlight milky cyclonic opal how much one loves revery till then let soft thoughts of you relieve this querulous travelers mind your faithful dreamer Theo.” This one’s called “Juggling on a Nude Gay Beach.” [Laughter] “Here we know what it means to catch and toss while three balls in primary colors whirl like gyroscopes gone wild obeying the laws of chaos chaos contained until the virile figure from Blake now slipping from his suit plunges in undulant shatterings of beryl and re-emerges glistening head to glute collision two balls smack and the whole pattern explodes balls everywhere the most astute fool discovers grace in the body’s eternal clumsiness joy in deviance three dudes spoon wiggle their pelvises grin one has a sunburn the middle a shoulder tattoo Bigfoot baboon the last pectorals like mangoes over them sways an umbrella the hue of the lemon macaroon they nibble and over this a flag with rays in every flesh tone its corner stamped with a paw and higher still – two octopus – two octopus kites ablaze in neon green and orange swell and blow themselves to heaven as ribbon-tentacles fly back like a diva’s perm from a Malibu convertible leading the eye to the dunes where gulls circle and guys disappear for an hour or three [Laughter] My lover bites a banana swallows and rolls an overripe apricot over the blanket to me my newest toy so here’s a full shower upon this crash course in male anatomy look out here comes another fruitful error.” [Laughter] All right this is the last one I’m going to read. The title keeps shifting but right now it’s “Dallas Through a Puddle Darkly.” “On McKinney Avenue a mirror-sheen of summer rain reconstitutes myrtles in bloom one pink blossom falls its holographic twin below the surface rises and they merge bridging the centimeter chasm where orange cumulonimbus wander miles down in the shallows sidewalk paved with sky this heavenly mirage turns a newspaper sheet to pulp and doppelgangs towers at sunset their westward windows molten dripping where a trolley’s bilateral symmetry stops and a woman disembarks doused in a gown of diamonds meanwhile doves their feathers as soft as receipts tucked in a wallet gather on telephone wire and ruffle out from their wet wings droplets that bubbling upward as they sink riddle with brief concentric simmerings the equivocal vitreous the asphalts’s and the eye’s inverted images never examined close enough till now so that this asphalt aquarelle distinctively selfless like the mockingbirds recombinant pastiche flushed as with beta waves when evening lamps rekindle their tungsten synapses below lays out an immaterial stage for walking on clouds a downward skyhigh glimpse reconceiving the real.” Thank you my pleasure. Now to introduce Nneoma Ike-Njoku is a Nigerian writer and editor. She has received funding and residencies from the miles Moreland Foundation the Knight writing Institute and the Yiddish book center’s tent program. Her short fiction appears or is forthcoming in the African futures anthology bat city review and winter tangerine where she was a 2016 prose Prize winner. [Applause]Reading not available Sasha Smith is a Bronx-born Jamaican American poet with degrees from NYU and CUNY’s Bronx Community College. She received the 2016 Poetry Project’s “Emerge – Surface – Be” Fellowship. Her work appears in the South Hampton review horse country and the fall 2019 black warrior review her manuscript was an honorable mention in the 2017 CutBank chapbook contest and she’s a third of the PhD’s. She means, a third of the future PhD thanks. Ok so I’m reading from my thesis and it’s hard to explain so I’m just gonna give you hashtags #cosmogeny #cosmos #universe #existentialism #make #unmake simple stuff. “Phi being the progenitress that you Union us be what is born of chaos that galaxy us be what is born of what is born of chaos that you universe being Nova you pre waned become the nebulae the getter of gods let spawned embryos spoil and spill into dimensions of gas dust spools that you union verse being become out of carnations a womb” “Phi whichever of the Gemini to have been thrusted into whichever who swallowed astrophysical’s beam jets and choked on bursts whoever clamored in arrays of gammas afterflows was sheathed in superposition how being of the Dioscuri is a swapping captured in situ between Hades and Olympus being all minor twinned becomings being sequels of ravenous swans being from the walls of a womb and the frayed reticulum of silted sheets in sidereal rind whichever of the ones to pale encounter whoever to have slid galaxy us through slivers of rotation is the punctured starred union who Clytemnestra the earth murderess seized her suitors miscarried them across the belts or died in a matrix of begetting is how the universe you contests its compulsory hatchings being you that once forfeited the cosmos traded half-empyrean for consciousness being a you universe being spared and transverse planes growing hooked and stretched as dust what is left in the impartiality of our divine but a limping neuron flipping through nostalgia returning with a faint blood tip beep and who turns that immortality to mortality and returns it to the stars.” “Phi how at the final category of being we became entropy or how in the encroachment of we universe the universe you attempts to become from flushed titan stars and become to super luminous nova and how at that junction we became instead a fading and failed impostor or how in being us we became too massive to form became mass in Formation.” “Phi remember having once upon’d a macrocosm or having once opened flesh chasms midsole half chested and foiled and having been measured so woundedly in deglovement that we were tasked with ribs and sums or the sums of us the ribs of our sums remember how in being a union without a center a century older center of all union verse how are you universe us is and was the center of being of which all beings became remember when weeded out of expansion a Pantacosm wielding Centurion a century old you beings spell to this division with grounded mnemonics and insatiable defecation putrified into ore remember the centrioles of our materials or the meconium core the accumulation galaxy us spindled and marred remember how it caused remembrance.” “Phi how I’d escape velocities galaxy us unhyphenated cells fractured dislodged gluons resolved logics designed cells to be sunken pressed curved to a sickle to be vacuumed and swung to revolutions or to be how as a heart or what becomes a heart we began into percussions each 23rd cycle and how or when as we it co-orbited we ejected the lifespan of our pulp salved our primal pithiness until flesh dust re-densified re-emerged a hypothetical an open cluster that began massed that became hyper compact clothes of parasites how parasitic our binaries became from dust from host having resolved ourselves to be and to be made into eons of reparation how at unbecoming at the thickest grain of Astral sand we contacted we contracted how at the fracture we became a corpse wormhole strapped degeneration or Corpuscle.” “Phi remember how we unsolved ourselves using matrix and Determinant using Thrownness how as an it I am pleased with my existence how as an I it exists through my pleasures we became a factory of relation elementals a residence of being in the wilderness how it became chimerical from disclosure and topicality or how omniscience became stagnation science and nucleolus how it extracted from solar plexus of misnomer and a hitched rut sutured to a pulse how it belied a galaxy you universe us bellyed into an infant Nova how we galaxy and universe us began to it and how as an it as neutron nerves you Union us navigated in X’s X pulses how in impulse our dim starred networks impaled us made our being toward death a way of being us unsurmountable disparate or remember the fetus rush how at essentiality we incised whole dimensions and stretched and halved and labbed them into a nebula how at becoming a member of a memory the dasein our existence us existence made itself ourselves you enucleated an implosion exed.” Last one. “Phi citizen ataxia or you old unmanned precariat who swallow and membrane yourself into being the amorphous symbiont thing no one had was fractioned into cosmo it you the blunt tip spheres of blastules of blundered cluster blocks was a you who slapped asunder a gravastar you who nothinged nothing became cell became gobule became a coming.” Thank you. I’m going to introduce Alice Mercier the third of our make-believe PhD group being born sorry being born I was just in this whole thing before moving to Ithaca Alice Mercier lived and worked in London where she studied photography arts at the University of Westminster [Applause] [Reading not available] [Applause] Thanks so much. Thank you okay it’s my pleasure to introduce Alice Turski. Alice grew up in Houston Texas. A Lang, whoa hang on, a Langsdorf and Danforth scholar Alice obtained her BA from Washington University before joining the MD/PhD program at NYU on leave indefinitely Alice is currently working on a collection of poems exploring intergenerational myths and the post-war periods of Poland and China. [Applause] Alright, okay so the first poem is called “The Night.” “In her shrouded tent we play with ourselves small children too unraveling so sweetly she spoils us with cover but then the sheet lies flat and flattened we noticed the great shame of the negative as otherwise known the hole in my side wet with one opening I dig into another probing probing probing I giveth Excalibur back and on the other side pushed through the hide the shortest breeze rustles through me and the warmest rain rustles through me and the softest bell rustles through me I lie myself down as close to the ground until sacred loses interest.” This is an English play. “For five minutes I make my mother read Hamlet a lullaby I say if you do it right I pin her finger down and the ship rocks to its side prostrate chewed and spit out in the captain’s voice you the army of fleas and this life this is life crawling over board and I dragging I blazen I birth forth the first word my gift to her lucky saucy tongue and straight pearly teeth an elegant slender throat we can lop mountains into spring rivers from the ground and make water thirst for the path I flick flicked into shape like the dragons we are louder I say and louder she sings because I am so very powerful.” This is one of the poems that takes place in the post-war period in Poland called “He Soldered Track to Wheel.” “If there were ten ways to say kid in my language this for the kid with the bellowing bull gasped in blowing spit in my face wet dripping between you guys from cuts meanly done look him in the eyes guard his temples with all-seeing good wishes so his racking moans drives the wedge as if he had the plains of rye all to himself so galling and abstinent his memory of you holding silverware in one fist and in the other chanterelles thin and slippery how hard it was to digest the silver down into shit the curse word already in the kid’s name who makes a mess of things when things are already a stinking mess but if the Soviets are taking train- fuls of toilet paper and your beautiful restful behemoth coming for you on its wedlocked road is bid to leave you behind toilet paper-less potato-less what else can you bid but marry your behemoth to your land.” I’m gonna read two more and this one is “My Autumn Folks.” “Everyone knows when it’s pumpkin time but me and mine imagine homely innards tinged blue gray all the days as if someone forgot protective plastic was meant to be filled I didn’t mean to say someone it wasn’t me nothing but moonlight gets an extra boost reaching through the window come visit us for I can smell your golden turning master of splendiferous demise by plastic I meant Twilight we’ve been left to Twilight the weather changes all the time on the other side of the window the eucalyptus litter the bed of ball cacti there wasn’t always so much of me I’ve been laughing so very much this past summer if you haven’t seen a pomelo yet you’re in for a treat or a scare just one family we are sneaking in from below the cold is wanting to slumber it’s that time of year if you decide to come over for a visit put your hat on the HEPA filter by the front door brush the ash from your coat like it’s dust it is dust we will have to sweep after your departure please do not track mud inside unless is it pouring out from your ears we need to breathe just like you cover my mouth if I talk in a different language I’ve been put here to translate what am I saying oh dear I spilled on you.” And this last one is “Marvelous.” “I’d like to rip something out when I hear collective American not so there are flowers delight awaiting a consultant pearl high-frequency hearing or your ears mounted on yet-to-be flower stems but that the city is bland yet I’m to vaguely recall the street outside my street except that it is yours it is yours and I’m not keen for fighting at least today there’s mixing then there’s contamination and still no one will let the shadow squint the wrong way let it be so be it I can’t hide the interval between my left breast and your palm and my heart slippery within the trophy yours.” I’m very excited to introduce Charlotte. Charlotte McCall Patterson’s work appears or is forthcoming in Passages North, Smokelong Quarterly and Yalobusha Review. The daughter of two US diplomats she’s currently at work on a haunted house novel set in Bucharest, Romania in the late 1990s. Hi thanks everyone for coming so I thought I’d read a short story and not from the novel that just got mentioned because this is self-contained but also because it comes from the period of my life right before I left to come to this MFA program which I’m so grateful to have experienced so this story is called “The Sitter.” “The sitter is thorough with the litter box it is almost artistic the way she tills the absorbent crystals like her own private sand garden she is skilled at making the old cat take all six of his heart medications she eats a handful of salted peanuts every time she walks in the door sometimes she also eats the dark chocolate chips stored in the cabinet she has an eye on the level of each the peanuts and the chocolate chips if it gets obvious she’ll buy a replacement and dump the contents into the original container until the level is restored Elizabeth said she should make herself at home the apartment perfect for the sitter’s needs the cable TV is a luxury the couch is comfortable for lounging the bed is always freshly made when she arrives and the clawfoot tub is a gift she could pretend this is her apartment and that she is the corporate executive for Macy’s if it weren’t for all the troubling personal touches she finds every time she opens a drawer or scrutinizes a fridge magnet even though the apartment is small she finds its silence eerie perhaps it is the cat who follows her from room to room with a forbidding countenance waiting for her to settle in a location so he can fold himself primly in her lap like a long-haired paperweight she has always had a hard time disturbing a sleeping animal there is something precious about his sleep the stolen hours here and there one ear always cocked for predators the slight twitch of the paws that might prove dreaming it feels like a measure of trust to have an animal installed in your lap you’d rather have your legs go numb than wake him but her boyfriend sneers and says you are just like a space heater to them they are drawn to warm places the longer the visits last three weekends in a row one or two weeks the more snooping she feels is authorized first she just wants to know where Elizabeth goes when she leaves many of the trips are for work but the two weeks in March are for Iceland scrawled in all caps on the wall calendar the sitter looks ahead for vacations to get an idea of how much money she can expect to earn several business trips in April Sara’s wedding and Thailand in mid-june it is one of those personalized album calendars studded with photos of a blonde family of four with two cute kids hovering around the age of 10 everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries come pre- marked the woman in the pictures appears to be Elizabeth’s sister munching on the stone-ground wheat crackers she has been slowly depleting all week she’ll get more the sitter wonders what it would be like to be close to the family who produced this calendar who else did they send it to how many people were expected to filter the next year of their lives through the main events of someone else’s at least Elizabeth’s bedside reading is indicative of simmering psychological distress ‘You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life,’ ‘Daring Greatly’ and confusingly ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’ the sitter thumbs through them while the cat purrs in her lap some pages are dog-eared for reference in ‘You Are a Badass’ the reader is invited to list their best qualities here Elizabeth has written in pencil ‘caring family oriented adventurous animal lover active Ambitious’ but the whole page is smudged with eraser dust and false starts the sitter pets the cat too hard he snaps and moves to give his tail a tongue combing in the corner her boyfriend texts to invite himself over he wants to try out that bathtub but she doesn’t reply other things the bedside drawer with the two packs of unopened condoms a half-burnt candle a bottle of Lube barely squeezed but no sex toy a note to self taped to the fridge door reminding Elizabeth to call the gym and ask about personal training sessions remember not Stefan what did Stefan do or say and the butterfly collection pinned behind glass in a shadow box on the wall the case itself is an antique a relic from some prior age of animal cruelty maybe it also descends from the grandmother who hand wrote dessert recipes on little cards that have also been glassed cased and memorialized next to dried purple flowers a straightforward recipe for cobbler with the PostScript to future generations this is a quick recipe where you’re in a hurry and very good next to the ziplock bags the sitter finds a list of attributes that Elizabeth is seeking in a partner written on an index card they are the same ones she wrote and you are a badass with a few additions that may be quality she feels she lacks calm spiritual good sense of humor or perhaps direct correctives for previous love patient serious kind the sitter takes a picture of the list to text her boyfriend but deletes it immediately once she sees how the photo looks her phone has framed the list as bright and insignificant the same as the recipe taking the photograph makes the sitter feel sick with guilt for days she sees it whenever she closes her eyes the next weekend she opens the same drawer and the list has vanished but the feeling remains Elizabeth is an Iceland and the sitter is on her couch the cat pinned in her lap and yowling while she administers his second heart medication Elizabeth left a big tip this time her note said thank you you’re the best a text appears on the sitter’s phone screen her boyfriend once again invites himself over to the cat condo he wants to take a bath together but if he gets in the bath he’ll see the little rubber duck that Elizabeth placed next to the faucet he’ll see her hair removal cream with its label turned shyly toward the wall he might eat her gummy vitamins and sneer at the copy of Women’s Health wrinkled with bath reading he’s exactly the kind of man who had put on Elizabeth’s polkadot shower cap and do a stupid dance so the sitter takes the cat’s water dish with its surface wisps of floating hair she drops in three salted peanuts and a spoonful of chocolate chips for sweetness from the bathroom cabinet she takes a pump of anti-aging cream and an aspirin for unexpected pain a dash of Lube from the bedside drawer on Elizabeth’s fire escape she looks for something natural and sees with a guilty pang the scraggly basil plant she has forgotten to care for a few withered leaves will have to do behind her the cat is testing an exit he has one paw out the door before she softly closes the screen the sitter knows that when she pours this charmed stew into the alley she should say something that matters but it isn’t easy to think she looks at the mess she’s made and thinks dump the cat in the door frame sees his dish and purrs drink.” [Applause] Thanks guys It’s my pleasure to introduce our last reader Francis Revel was born in southern Delaware in 1995 at age 13 she enrolled in a resident in a residential Vaganova Ballet Conservatory in Maine in 2017 Francis received the Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets her essays and poems appear in American Poets, Dilettante Army, the Iowa Review, Vinyl and Tammy. Please welcome Frances. [Applause] Hi! You’re all so wonderful so happy to hear you I’m gonna just read one poem and the title has two parts and the first part of the title is taken from the Wikipedia synopsis of The Little Match Girl and in the second part of the poem there are some lines quoted from a Bobby Vinton song. “But They Knew Nothing of the Wonderful Visions She’d Seen, or Dehydration.” “One the first on the scheduled anniversary of my last drink my how my luck folds out daily like a map whose horizon is endlessly inspired to grant me a new world corner to fondle need name or tear or how my luck is always going to to to and minding fro only to keep up manners keep up show I find you on all fours staring into the cupboard trying your hand at conjurer each success a misery in its failure to call forth just the right shape of glass in which to nest yourself I cannot touch you it’s no different than sleep here in this hip-less club of lollygag where we have no corners and when moving always moving we move smooth like boys narrow and cleansed of neuroses it’s that thing you know taking hold that thing I thought was made for mocking my waistline but was mostly seeking to show me what fun it might be to release the burden of spacing sizing sliding through a narrow past by way of slicking my side and shooting on through something like a genetic Wild Eye willing a beast would you speaking of play your mammal for me you’re the sniffer while I work the air that crescents thin from your mouth I strum it till it’s nil remember when as a ghost you formed between your needling digits a cigarette case celestial encrusted to prove your knack for home making we were to bride our ardor I was to name my spooking Arda but she vanished as soon as I lost. Two the second lost touches 6 it’s been a while since you’ve come around you’ll notice I’ve since taken to dressing my bed in shapes of raw cut glass mostly resembling magnolias or gondolas or something star like hello little girl and the sting sharp by keeping me still it lulls me off I sleep by the sea where I’m bound goodbye little girl by two beams of a polonic give seemingly all to myself when the clock has strangled its dark opposite of fever this brand of love makes one cautious I’m not your kind of grace in all its forms conscious or otherwise the milk of guy cools before I serve it little girl trouble to the Hermit-ing trouble trouble cobra the handsome bandit who trouble trouble is my morning wise comforts with my middle name me he and I for now some days I call him for the record that is begged by the village Census Bureau sainthood know ourselves only as a honey- like mask a syrup when we wake before my early was spent solely on sloshing my anticipation my mood or my static my three from cling on your neck your thigh those perches behind your ear tops where the crater is located at the fiery base of your spinal column where everything I gave you pooled these days the hooded and I we may travel lonely here through our halls kitchens cabinets pipes but lonely as one we’d be hand in hand if we could only untangling to comb out the others eyelashes he and I we’re bad with money he’s too in love with China coastal blue his zeal vigors my own blinds me from all my reminders this note was meant to be one in which I offer to pay you back for the weekly services laundry room and nourish but my companion sainthood he couldn’t resist a lap or two at the ink navy and glared hypnotically toxic and stench bled it so he did all over the parchment you know by now I can’t do any business with the illegible nor with no nor with chastising the magic of this friend of mine denying the colorblind life of his kind so I started over here we are and anyway every last coin went towards our hobbying and when we sickened of useless goodies it went towards our tendings how severe we were about Monday’s being the time for nothing but embroidery when by Tuesday we’d tossed our efforts mindless into the hamper to make room for what we hope will be a month-long furnishing of mirrors from one another’s eyes before you start with me it isn’t about gays it’s about give about a return that is passionately empty or is it about vice or perhaps vice versa we’ve yet to care for that particular breed of ineffable who seeks to question our postures rules or what exactly we are doing here sharing this bed near filthily sanitized and refusing to acknowledge that at least one of us apparently is fresh for the kill mostly we’re polite keeping questioners like that for tea but on Wednesdays when we are so far from our Inauguration Day of Prayer day seven and so far from our next so basted in the middle we’re liable to throw that kind of visitor out to the bustling street where a mother some Elizabeth who can’t conceive of our way will pick her up for school teach her to mind her own business and grow up fond of arithmetic or Latin or maybe of the shiny task of making meringue in honesty were just not concerned with this concept of teasing our priorities apart from our mutual parlor curtains rich with knots we like anticipation we like wholeness we like the definite we like lusts exact opposite we necessitate no anticipation but just tonight while the moon enticed the sainthood to visit the lustrous skin of the milk in his newest saucer a joie de vivre was seen in cream and sky a baby in the lap of a mother both in bonnets a man whose rifle has nothing but air to point to a steeple firing up to heaven in the Distance. Three the cry it was then that I did think of you of us we windy by a wharf the water was the belly resounding bell strong arranged from demon deep to falsetto whir the belly of a creature who sang the anthem you thought the medium perplexing but I knew those shutters clattering on the distant prairie of death were just the sides of a soft fork threading the width of two fangs we wore sweaters mimed fishermen the bread I’d packed for us very plain even the dumbest geese wouldn’t bother when I gauzed us to the wooden rails prepared our mighty for all might you tried to adopt the grip of the tune on the wind as if a comprehensive physical might solve for our escape your whistle weaker than a new whelp yet to learn his power over the very idea of intrusion I forced the sharpest needle I could muster from my throat but my rush like a death wanted nothing but seed but to cave me glancing down I saw my heart ripe with new capillaries shimmying up they meddled my hide I saw and I blinked all on my own blinked the heart of the mouse who refuses the hiding but she cannot resist you know the rind.” Thank you [Applause] Thank you all for coming I’d like to invite you to join us upstairs for a reception in the English Lounge but I’m going to leave you for now with these brief words from the late poet Lucie Brock-Broido “There is no world I know, without some word of it.” Thank you. [Applause] This has been a production of Cornell University on the web at Cornell dot edu