On Saturday evening, there was another reading, and I got to check out more Wave poets’ shoes. Here they are in order of appearance.
Saturday, August 15.
1. Anthony McCann
His shoes were elusive. Were they hiking boots or sneakers? They had moc-toes. I tried to sketch them on my program. In the sketch they look like clouds with trees for laces.
2. Rachel Zucker
They were like Dansko clogs, only cut away, so they were more like sandals. I worked with someone at a bookstore who wore Danskos. She liked to knit. Rachel Zucker read a long poem about being pregnant. She also read a poem in which she quoted Matthew Rohrer saying something like, “When you feel like going dark in a poem, just don’t, and see what happens.” I remembered the darkness that interrupted Matthew’s poem the night before.
3. Geoffrey Nutter
Geoffrey Nutter! You looked like an accountant with your brown lace-up shoes and wearing a tie, and in fact when you began reading you reminded me of my bank account and how it is empty. But soon you were very funny, and we were all laughing, perhaps Joshua Beckman most of all, especially at your poem in which you reduced everything to dope. “Thy bones are made of dope.”
4. Matthew Zapruder
He wore plastic/rubber sandals. When I first saw him I thought he looked like he was from Seattle/Portland. He talked about living in San Fransisco in a poem and biking to work in lanes designated by symbolic bikers. He talked about renting space in an office building with other writers. The screen behind him mysteriously began to rise.
I liked what he was reading but my mind started to wander. I thought about how funny it is that people write poems–really struggle to do this, bike through traffic, pay rent at a building where they go to write poems, and sit there, sometimes all day, trying. I love this about people.
Last night, I had a dream about a very lovable Irish Setter, the most tender dream I’ve ever had about an animal possibly because its eyes were so expressive and large, and I knew in the dream that this dog was Matthew Zapruder.
5. Jon Woodward
I found you endearing. I used to wear that same kind of Adidas shoe with my Umbro shorts to middle school. I found your poem about larvae endearing. I found your last poem, which I remember so little of (there were rainbows, and shifting sonic fields) amazing. I hope that I will read it soon.
6. Dorothea Lasky
She tripped a little walking to the mic. “I almost wiped out a little,” she said. I think we all liked her then. She wore suede ankle boots with heels.
All weekend she wore loud, clashing clothing. She read her poems loudly, almost shouting them. She read “Boobs are Real.” She said she had to read it because she was wearing the right shirt for it.
When she cut in front of me in line on Friday, I think she was wearing black vinyl sandals. I’m really looking forward to her next book, Black Life.
7. Mary Ruefle
I assumed they were boots though I never saw the tops of them. They had angular, stiff soles, like cowboys wear, and horses, too. The last time I saw her, on Sunday, she had a cigarette dangling out of her mouth while she stood outside the gallery arranging papers in what was probably some kind of order, looking tired. I think she’s from the East Coast.
While I biked home from the reading, I thought again how funny it is that people write poems, travel long distances alone to read them aloud, and then stand outside possibly feeling like they still haven’t got something right, or feeling like they have got it all right, and that these feelings might go walking by, eating candy the color of a sunset and talking about their secrets loud enough for a poem’s ears.