Saturday, April 22, 2006
This life for the poems, man oh man, loving poems more and didn't think I COULD! Just got back from a trip to Buffalo, where, oh, I walked through the archive. That, a, mazing, sanctuary of poems. Michael Basinski is a SERIOUS gem, a real generous soul. He took Buck Downs, Kevin Thurston and I on the tour of a lifetime for poetry. For years I've considered my time spent at the Poetry Library in London to have BEEN IT! Next to Jonathan Williams's home FULL OF BOOKS OF POETRY, but no no no. It really is TRUE, the collection at Buffalo is -- quite seriously -- THREE OR FOUR TIMES LARGER THAN THE POETRY LIBRARY IN LONDON!
I've been hearing about this collection in Buffalo for years from friends. And let me be honest that in the back of my head was always this thought, "Wow, I'd love to go see it, but there's no way it's as big as the London library." Yeah well, I was very wrong!
Michael Basinski was such a fantastic host, he was more than happy to honor my request we look for a copy of Susie Timmons's book LOCKED FROM INSIDE, the book that so many (from Eileen Myles to Erica Kaufman, to Anselm Hollo) talk about as this true Magic Force. And there it was, on the shelf, right where it should be. Wow! It's so delicious to actually HOLD something you've been aching to see, and read but is out of print!
Shit, that was so beautiful, makes life seem worth any amount of bullshit!
Christine Thurston drove Buck and I to Niagara Falls. Neither of us had ever seen the falls before, and there's just no way to prepare for it. It's the Grand Canyon in reverse, or something, I don't know! It's just impossible to explain unless you SEE it! I mean, I've seen pictures and film footage all my life and it just canNOT compare to being there. And I know how much everyone complains about all the weird tourist trappings built around it, but to be honest, when we were THERE, and I mean, right AT the water, then below it looking up, not even the sun mattered, for the moment. Pure, exhilarating awe. A special alarm goes off and your blood gets jammed with some kind of Special Occasion Sugars.
Everyone I met in Buffalo, especially the poets, were great! We talked and talked and talked about poetry talking and talking about poetry and it was wonderful talking so much about it! Kevin and Christine were the most generous hosts, opening their new home to us. Cannot possibly thank them enough.
Buffalo is my one of my new favorite cities.