I am exhausted. All the parts of a human that can wear thin and fall into a thousand pieces at your feet are doing that.
But this is not the most tired I’ve ever been. No. Nor the most war-torn or overwhelmed. I have felt once before what it is like to be Wild Animal and shaking with exhaustion so that you shed your hair and make little trails of bird nest wherever you go. But that’s different. That’s the kind of thing where your heart pumps and you are very aware of the fact that it is full of blood and you exist and all that kind of thing. Your veins are full of prickly-pears and you are actually thriving on the exhaustion. Like a tonic. Like a system of electric eels in your arms. It’s a peppermint kind of exhaustive jolt.
This is not what is happening. Nope. I’m really just lazy in the spring. Full of that ennui usually reserved for cats. I don’t like cats. But these things happened to me recently that were perfect in that electric eel way, and I was made very awake:
1) I had a dream about something incredibly blue last night. A blue so blue as to be un-named in nature. A color that was so pure in its wavelength that it may have actually been a shade of sound. That was the entire dream. I woke up alone with water on my face.
2) A stranger stopped me in the street yesterday and we stood together in the middle of the sidewalk at 7th and Main while he systematically removed little tiny bits of tree and leaf from my hair for me. And that was all. It was morning. People funneled around us. Then he went one way and I went another.
These are very small things that happened, but they crystallized so painfully and perfectly when they struck, that they hopped the divide between life and Life. As in, Life: that state of being when we feel extremely human, extremely present, extremely rooted to the space-time continuum. That thing we desperately desire all the time when we are awake. When Mundane gets all Cosmic, and we stand as excellent freeze-frames of living art. Or poetry.
There it is!
And another round of Happy National Poetry Month to you. Here’s another way to make it grand:
Join the fine folks at Carmichael’s Bookstore tomorrow, Saturday, April 20th, for a special poetry reading featuring greats in the Louisville literary scene. Stop by the Frankfurt Avenue store as Jeffrey Skinner, Frederick Smock and Jerriod Avant honor National Poetry Month starting at 4pm.
In conjuncture with this spring’s release of the biannual poetry anthology, A Narrow Fellow, tomorrow’s trio of local scribes will group at Carmichael’s to celebrate. With all three gentlemen spotlighted in this latest publication of the anthology, Skinner, Smock and Avant will each share selections from their respective bodies of work – quite a list, including Frederick Smock’s collections Blue Hour and Sonnets, poems from Jerriod Avant that have graced the pages of The Louisville Review and PLUCK!, and work from Jeffrey Skinner’s repertoire including titles Salt Water Amnesia and A Guide to Forgetting. It’s possible I might have a slight crush on Jeffrey Skinner. Possible.
And so, it is with allergies and wine-belly and trees in my hair and otherworldly kinds of blue that I wish you here in spring: Happy National Poetry Month. May you stay awake and write something silly that is truly beautiful. And skip Thunder. Carmichael’s is better. Less noise. More electricity.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfurt Avenue. For more information, visit the event page or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
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