Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Friday, January 18, 2008

Marly, the dervish of NYC

Photography credit: by Ellen Datlow, editor extraordinaire. As I have always been a great maker of weird faces (and even somehow managed to be in a picture at KGB where I appear to have a bust of double-dirigible proportions--how?--bizarre posture? is that my next insult to photographers?), I present a nigh-insuperable challenge to the candid photographer, and I congratulate Ellen for catching me without one of my especially peculiar faces now and then. Most people can't manage it! She has many more on her site, but here are a couple of me (one with Paul Guran of Prime Books) and one of Dan Braum, my co-reader, and his fellow Clarion South grad, Ben Francisco.

My mighty whirl through New York is finished. I took the 8:30 puddle-hopper bus to the city, immediately fell into an on-going interview with Jim Freund of "Hour of the Wolf" at WBAI and John Klima (editor of the anthology Logorrhea and zine Electric Velocipede, recorded "The Girl in the Fabrilon" with Jim, did an interview with Jim, taped a few poems for other shows, did a reading of "Prolegomenon to the Adventures of Childe Phoenix" at KGB Bar (hosted by Gavin Grant and Ellen Datlow and also captured by Jim, though I felt that my reading was a bit ragged-and-rugged by then), went to dinner at a Chinese place with part of the KGB mob, ran around with Dan and Ben, slept for a few hours at the blessedly quiet HoJo Express on East Houston, went to breakfast with writer Maggie Paley at the Noho Star (we met at Yaddo last year--she's the author of Bad Manners and, yes, The Book of the Penis), met up with my friends Jack and Anne for a Turkish elevensies (like hobbits, I was doing an extra meal), bought presents at Pearl River, caught the subway to the Port Authority, hopped on a bus, got delayed by an unfortunate tractor-trailer accident, and finally arrived back in the peaceful little village of Cooperstown (where it is always snowing and so was) around midnight.

Did that sentence seem rushed? Now you know what my trip was like.

But I think it was fruitful; the prose and interviews will be on three shows, and the poems will be tossed in elsewhere on other shows. The next step is that Jim Freund will call and wake me up at 3:00 a.m. when he runs a story so that I can answer questions. I think this will be comical because I am not at my best at 3:00 a.m. We all know that 2:00 a.m. is my proper hour...

20 comments:

  1. Oy. Better you than me! I like sleep too much. (Though that Russian stout you're about to drink in one of the photos looks really temepting.)

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  2. Hey Dave--

    Yes, it was! Must go celebrate. My eldest (who has waited until the last minute to get his applications in) has gotten into his first college. Yay! I didn't even think we had everything in yet.

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  3. wow! your trip sounds like it was super.

    YOu look great. THat jacket looks cool, is it velvet. I bet it worked really great with the turkish place.

    And you got to do a radio show? Do you still have a southern accent?

    It drives me crazy to hear myself on a recording. Like in the one I did yesterday about the snowing. THere was actually a couple of those and that was the only one presentable.

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  4. You literary gadabout you! and you look every inch the sophisticate.
    Nice to be home?

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  5. Ah, Lucy, thank you for the kind words. Yes, it's good.

    And my son (who has waited latelatelate to apply) got into his first college the next day. Here I thought he would live in that bedroom forever, squabbling with his siblings and arguing for more video game time!

    Susanna,

    The key to liking your recorded voice better is lowering the pitch, I imagine. Women's voices often sound too high, too sweet when recorded. I think that you would probably detect glimmerings of a Southern accent in my voice, but I have lived in too many places to have a strong one. On the other hand, I am a sponge and can mimic anybody else's accent and fall into that easily, sometimes to my own mortification. Within fifteen minutes with you, I would no doubt sound as though I had lived in Lacey Springs all my life.

    Yes, black velvet and a gift from my mama.

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  6. YOu look happy/good, Marly and it's nice to put the words of Marly to the face of Marly!

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  7. Congratulations on getting back home without a significant ice event keeping the bus from its appointed journey!!

    i suspect that it's hard for you to decide which is better: kid getting college acceptance or the nurturing fraternity of KGB and editor-friends...i suppose it's a case of icing on the cake?

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  8. Jan,

    The first picture I saw of you was in some wonderfully exotic place.

    zephyr,

    Yes, good to toddle in through the snow and not get stuck in a bank of the stuff!

    I think the happiest part is things going right for the progeny... One worries about their fortunes more and has less control to boot.

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  9. What an adventure!

    And OMG a 3am radio interview? I'd be afraid, very afraid, of what I'd mumble and stumble through.

    Congrats on the start of your eldest's Next Big Adventure as well -- hope you're finding some corners of cozy warmth out of reach of the winter winds.

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  10. What a bitter day is today...

    Yes, mumble and stumble will be the order of the morning when he calls, no doubt!

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  11. And you look good too Marley!
    KGB?

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  12. Thanks, Robert! That's the fresh-off-the-bus look, you know.

    KGB Bar: www.kgbbar.com. Mosey over there and all will be revealed. There's a page about the reading as well.

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  13. You've been busy! And I'm absolutely positive it was most productive--I would have loved to have been there to hear you. After having looked at these photos and the ones on Flickr, I'm sure I've seen you in real life. Your face tells me that you are awfully good at listening to other people--in addition to all the other things you are awfully good at.

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  14. Am I? It's not something I've ever asked myself. But I suppose a writer ought to be.

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  15. Yes Marley, I did the mousey bit over and discovered the "cool" bar in New York. This place is the equivilant status to a fashionable Pub over here(Public House, basically a place to get a drink, some "run of the mill" type food and more often now some special entertainment. My question mark was directed at you. It is too far away to be your "local" is it not? Porochista Khakpour's reading seems a bit steamy! I will have to read one of your books soon quite clearly! Not being in the fasionable New York scene puts idiots like me at a disadvantage. I will have to add it to my must visit list in the USA.

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  16. Halloo, Robert--

    I've never gotten a really good look at the place because it's always so jammed with bodies. But I bet your local pub is as well!

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  17. Sorry to hear you are going to hibinate again. No we don't have a pub in the village; The Debenhams saw to that in the 1920s.

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  18. One Southerner in Yankee land = occasional sudden need to hibernate.

    See you, Robert!

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  19. I shall miss you on your hiatus. Good luck with all that you do.

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  20. Hi Susanna,

    I shall miss your hyperbolic self as well! Not to mention the hats...

    But I shall clamber over this mountain of things to do and come back. I feel rather like a character out of Alice, running fast just to stay in the same place.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.