if you are thinking of a man spine up: National Poetry Month 7

A few hours ago I arrived in Minneapolis & my eyes set on a compound of abandoned buildings. Artist Retreat, I thought. This happens to me often, in new cities. I have an abandoned compound radar and a dream of owning an artist retreat. There is extraordinary pleasure to be had in the company of artists. Last night I sat across from two extraordinary writers, Ansel Elkins and Lavinia Jackson, and laughed and talked about everything everything everything. Writers–the world comes to us, invites itself into our paths, insists that we see it, remember it, remark upon it. Walking down Nicollette Street in Minneapolis, I looked down to the street (post looking up at the beautiful grubby buildings) and saw a man in handcuffs, two police cars and four officers, one man in handcuffs. I stood there and watched the handcuffed man, his back to me, his body completely relaxed, the officers chatting and laughing with one another. Eventually I continued my walk and immediately saw a poet, Jehanne Dubrow, walking towards me. We introduced ourselves, chatted about everything, wondered about the arrest, and moved on in our opposite directions. Across the street from the arrest, a church with a wonderful statue of several figures, one shielding its face in shame, one surrendering to rapture, one in the deep agony of desire.

Artists are desire, desirous, desiring. Don’t believe me? Hang out with an artist. In the meantime, read this poem by Talia Shalev.


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