Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pressing shuffle...

Today, after working out at the Y, I went to the Arts Cafe (one of several "boho-ish" cafes in my neighborhood) and read Simic's Selected and Hicok's This Clumsy Living -- one poem of one, then one poem of the other, to balance and blend each other's flavours, so to speak. Funny how so many poets are like a restaurant with one dish on the menu, or if a number of dishes, all cooked the same way, seasoned with the same herbs and spices. These two are terrific poets: I'm not complaining about the quality of what they dish out. They have truly "found their voice" (or taste buds). But after a few poems, yeah, I get the idea, I get the tone and cadence, and something in me yearns for a more adventurous eclecticism. Hence, this rather more satisfying method of reading: take two or three collections-- preferably by poets of significant contrast -- and go from one to the other to the other ... rather like putting several music discs in a CD tray and pressing "shuffle".

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