Monday, September 26, 2005

Catching Up

I finished DeLillo's Cosmopolis last Friday. Not his best, but still pretty good. I would definitely recommend it as a good "New York Novel," as it takes place entirely along a crosstown journey in one day. Extremely dark. Spent the good part of Friday at a deposition in the Bronx, more waiting than deposing. Case involves a worker's comp claim and I am a witness. Nonetheless, the extensive waiting allowed me to finish the DeLillo and get through several back issues of The New Yorker. Am on to the next book, T.C. Boyle's The Inner Circle, which is a fictional account of one of Dr. Kinsey's inner circle during his research on human sexuality in the 1940's. The book was published last year prior to the release of Kinsey, the Liam Neeson film, which I am still hoping to see.

In my quest for a balanced reading attack, I am also embarked on Picture Bride, the first book of poetry by Cathy Song, a Hawai'i-born poet. Ms. Song was also named a prestigious "Yale Younger Poet" in the early 1980's. I had the honor, pleasure and privilege of attending a poetry workshop with her at a writer's conference last month in Hawai'i. The poem below is a product of one exercise, in which participants free-associated, tossing out a word apiece while Ms. Song wrote them down on a flip chart. After several passes, the chart was filled and we had a wide range of words to choose from to use in, or as a basis for, a short poem.


Fear walks in wet socks over razor rocks.
The dragon smiles, a mystical look, imagining
me in an Ironstone pot, rooster stew,
cabbage bubbling around me, the heat
washing over in waves, the smells
of all my life's meals wafting by,
sauerkraut, lumpia, latkes,
my grandmother waking me from a nightmare.

©William Dickenson Cohen, August 2005

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