Monday, January 31, 2011

Memory Card on PoemTalk on _Dementia Blog_

First, a memory card, part of a George Oppen sequence:

I dreamed one night that I was in a hotel room filled with my books. I had a plane to catch, but I couldn't carry them. Sell them! someone said, but I said I could not. I woke at 3, checked the news of Egypt, then listened to the sound of my own voice cataloguing my mother's books. To each shelf I said no and no and no. It was as if whatever was contained in them was leaking out, as if memory had less to do with the past than with our attitude toward it, the intonation that covers it like red grease. The tail hook down, cables outstretched, you approach the carrier at a furious speed. Your fighter is but one word scrawled on the deck of a ship whose hold is an ambiguous space, full of men and machines and violence. I was here during the war, he writes, I was / in a house near here tho I cannot find it. The past tense of dreaming becomes the present's past: I was. I was here, but now I cannot guide me.

--31 January 2011

Just out this week is a podcast discussion of Dementia Blog. This memory card is a partial response to that discussion. With many thanks to Al Filreis & company, here's the link to this PoemTalk. There's a large library of such talks developing at the PennSound site, so check out any number of them while you're there!

Also out, Poetry Library South Bank Centre's poem of the week, an oldie from Angel Exhaust, which was reprinted in Salt Press's Aleatory Allegories (2000). The Poetry Centre is a wonderful place in the art center that sits on the south bank of the Thames in London.

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