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Jennifer Michael Hecht, The Lion and the Honeycomb

pics, sicks, and poetry books [by Jennifer Michael Hecht]

Dearest Bleaders,

How are you?  I hope you basking in this august August.  The 8th month thinks October is still pissed about the name and the heat is due to its continuing shame.  I think of you and hope you are outside, and also inside in a shadow reading.
A city in summer 
is a funny place


here, with egg on its face, there
on the edge of the poets' bridge
there are kids on the art 
and it is quiet on the high line
which is new.

i've been thinking about poetry books that are largely cerebral engagements but in the meanwhile power two or three punch poems right to your plexis.  an american 21st cent poetry book is some weird genre, which works for me, but if there be no rules, yet there is what pleases.  

in a book, i want the tasty treats and the bird songs as well as the power ballads, and I am trying to get a bead on what i like regarding proportions.  if someone comes in and gets our adrenalin up for them in 4 out of 80 pages, i do like the book better than if we never get up at all, but there are conversation topics that up once brought [sick]* demand considerate attention and part of me says more please, thanks for saving the baby but didn't she have a hat?  

*I meant to write sic, as in yes i intentionally cradle my preposition to this Churchillian degree, but then i thought it would be funny to add the k. Henceforth Bleaders please note that [sick] means [sic] but adds an indication that i am being nuts, if you will, on a porpoise [sick]. 

Because bleaders, I want the hat too.  what I mean by the hat in this very rarified use is a nest of poems perhaps more cerebral than the fists, yet still concerned with the emotional peril to which we have been made privy.  why?  For a feeling of balance, of integration, a sense of having left the meal full.  Then again, not all meals are for filling up.

Also, perhaps there are poets who don't write books so much as they publish chapters in what will someday be their collected volumes, which means the emotional joanof (arck) is sometimes going to be 40 days and nights of rain, and sometimes a triumphant monument, and sometimes a spectrum aloft on a sodden sky.  (you know what is like is ark and arc and arch? orchard and orchid.  it sortof hurts.  also i have been writing about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and the names blur to Stanthony in a way that causes me some irk.)  Think that is right?  I dunno and request counsel.  

Okay, have fun this week!  as i say in The Happiness Myth, "It is not enough to come out of the closet, you also have to leave the house."  I am talking to you, poet.  I assume you bleaders are freaks like me and need encouragement to put down the book and walk into the light, so do it.  do it.  don't listen to you, listen to me.  Go get yer vitamin d for the year.

Most heretically yours,


ps Aren't these white eggplants great?!  

March 20, 2023

January 27, 2022

January 17, 2020

May 20, 2016

May 09, 2016

April 28, 2016

April 20, 2016

November 25, 2015

November 18, 2015

August 14, 2014

June 26, 2014

March 21, 2014

February 22, 2014

December 30, 2013

December 26, 2013

December 16, 2013

June 06, 2013

May 29, 2013

May 20, 2013

May 09, 2013

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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