My hands feel dead. They’re raw shellfish attached to my wrists, cold meat with thin skin. I don’t know how to survive winter in this body. My bones make Cold on the inside, somewhere next to the fresh red blood cells, and I can’t find anywhere in the world to be warm. A lizard on a boulder in the sun. This is me – this is how my mammalian self fails to regulate me.
Like all humans who complain – which is all humans – I’m good at outlining the mechanical ways my body fails to survive on the planet. I was never finished before I was born, and so I break a lot. No one taught my cells how to be warm. It’s unfortunate. And so, when it makes cold in places, I am forced to steal warm from other sources, like a vampire at someone’s neck. Sometimes I drink heat from another human, but other times – I can slurp up a tonic right off the pages of something good and find me and my body braced against the cold boiling down the throat, through the belly and finally twisted up in the blood.
Simple: good writing distracts me. I’m willing to bet you might be chilled a little in the old bones here lately. Divert your attention this way, folks, and everybody look at me for respite:
Sarabande Books hosts its first poets, Daniel Khalastchi and Craig Teicher, kicking off the 2013 lineup of the 21c Reading Series. This is a-gonna happen in the cold night in a warm place tomorrow, Thursday, January 24th starting at 7:30pm.
The winner of the Crazyhorse First Book Prize for his release, Manoleria, Daniel Khalastchi has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown. Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Writing Program at the University Iowa, Khalastchi is also the Managing Editor of Rescue Press, co-founded with Caryl Pagel in 2010.
Joining Khalastchi is Craig Morgan Teicher, the author of To Keep Love Blurry: Poems, Cradle Book and Brenda Is In the Room and Other Poems. Awarded the 2007 Colorado Book Prize for Poetry for Brenda, Teicher also spreads his literary prowess as Director of Digital Operations and Poetry Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, a poetry editor of The Literary Review, a contributing editor of Pleiades and Vice President of the National Book Critics Circle. Somehow he teaches at The New School and New York University as well.
Both gentlemen will read and such and glow and such at 21c Museum Hotel – which is cool. Bundle your bones, rub the life back into your dying hands and brace the cold for the balm only the right kind of writing can impart. It’s not a hot toddy or a warm body, but it works the hot life’s blood back into the heart.
21c Museum Hotel is located at 700 W. Main Street. For more information, visit the event page.
Image: Courtesy of Sarabande Books website www.sarabandebooks.org