Friday, September 07, 2007

Joyelle McSweeney - The Clean Part

Joyelle McSweeney, Johannes Göransson, & John Gallaher
September 8, 7pm, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery
Lincoln, NE

There are two posters for the event, it seems. Which one do you like best?

The Clean Part Blog

I’m on my way to Lincoln tomorrow, where I will have to opportunity to meet Joyelle McSweeney. Funny how time works, half the time I’m thinking it’s going very fast, half the time I’m surprised by how slow it’s going, and half the time I’m sitting around looking for something to do. Anyway, The Red Bird came out in 2002. I was surprised by that, as I thought I’d had it for much longer.

Here’s the opening poem:

Joyelle McSweeney
Still Life w/ Influences

I stood at the modern knothole,
my eyes on the pivoting modern stars and naphthalene green
turfs and surfaces.

Behind me the stone fleur-de-lis
sank back over the horizon,
carving a fleur-de-lis-shaped track in air
that spread into a bigger hole.

Up on the hill,
a white tent had just got unsteadily to its feet
like a foal or a just-foaled cathedral.
Down on the beach, ten black whales were crashing

slowly, through themselves,
draped in wet bedsheets.
The bedsheets smoked into the air.

I opened my palm. A green edifice opened there.
It seemed to breathe but that was air breathing for it,
lifting a corner or a column.

Goodbye, my thirteenth-century.
I folded the money away.
What do ye do when ye see a whale?
I sing out.


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