Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What a Crazy Day!

On my walk home from work today I saw the coolest thing in the park. No, it wasn't another homeless man pooping in the bushes, it was a bumblebee/ rocket fish fight! I knew you'd never believe me so I took this picture...

From the looks of things it was a pretty even fight, though the rocket fist did have a little thing called, "strategy," on their side. They set up distracting refrigerators and ice cube trays while one rocket fist sneaked around the back way. The bees did bust out their secret weapon, the dreaded fish hook, but they couldn't catch a thing. I think all the fist were scared, that, and I don't know if rocket fist eat worms. My guess is that they eat rocket fuel, but I'm no scientist.

What surprised me most about this whole thing was that, though the fish were rocket powered, they didn't have laser's that for intelligent design?

Between all the buzzing and blasting things got pretty loud, but I had my iPod on and was listening to The Cave Singers, so it wasn't all that bad.

Anyway, I made it home safe and ordered some books, one from dancing girl press and the other from Kitchen. I've mentioned them both here before, so I'll leave you the pleasure of researching the archives, or if you can wait, I'll tell you about them when I read them.

Something real that happened: I finally found my copy of Kristy Odelius', "Bee Spit," (which is probably what got me thinking about bees in the first place) and it was alright. I wasn't engaged with it the whole time and found myself rushing through a few poems that didn't grab me right away. I know that William Allegrezza considers her to be one of Chicago's "experimental" poets, which I feel is a load of shit, with all the poetry being written right now, what IS experimental? It's a loose, umbrella term that needs to be carved out of our lexicon. Anyway, her poems are more like meditations on things (images, feelings, situations, etc.) we can only explain as they are, which isn't experimental at all, but in fact, what poetry has been striving towards for centuries.

Odelius has a way of capturing moments and making them as real as possible. Even when her images grasp at things absurd, she's calm and collected about it that you stay right with her. Example:

The Four Horsemen Cave to the Mayor's Demands

Would you rather be beautiful
or cool? it asked, and opened
like a Big Mac waiting for teeth.

The day, the day.

Roof-walking in the late winter,
red sweater against the grey bricks.

The little girl next door
plays in the yard. She's
coughing and trying
to cry, like us.

Tugging our micro-minis, vacuuming
in the glorious room. We know
what we knew. Not what
we used to, what we used.

Our electronic devices assure us
we got the skillz to pay the bills.
We're content to be sad, perched
like a glass bee on the tip
of a federal holiday.

Some days, the stone natatorium
down the street seems to hold all
dreams under slowly draining water.

This was my favorite poem out of the whole collection (hence, I typed it all out for you). The line breaks are genius. Each line can be a whole idea and are often cool individual snapshots. The scene comes across as very Chicago to me, but that's probably because it is, and I love that the Chicago she paints here isn't the standard metropolitan one, but one that chooses to focus on the stacked nature of humans in the city (some are up high, some are down below, but still they are sharing space). What Odelius tickles out here is a universal theme as seen through only her eyes. She doesn't try to alter her perception in order to make it easy on the reader, rather, she states it as if it's something we would have no idea about...and how do explain things to people when you don't think they will understand you? Just like this.

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