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

Friday, May 27, 2011

"The Throne of Psyche" at The Green Toad Bookstore: a memorable night


Last night we had precisely two dozen (counted by those bean-counters, my sons) people turn out to listen to poetry from The Throne of Psyche at the Green Toad despite the vacation (leftover snow day linked to Memorial Day weekend) beginning that afternoon and despite tornado warnings for our region. And I had a grand time! Lots of laughter and clapping and finger snapping and good questions and requests always make a reader happy...

Below you can see the other two people who turned out--Mrs. Toad of the bookstore a..k.a. K(C?)athy and me, wearing heels and so taller than somebody for once... I misled Mrs. Toad when she asked by saying that my name was pronounced "Yeo" not "You," and so she introduced me as "Marly Yeo," which meant that I gave her a big hug and we started with much laughter. My great-grandfather may not have been able to spell, but the family can still pronounce the name, even if we can't spell it!

Novelist Peg Leon brought me in style in a car with no little mountain forest mice (I fear the saga of the Toyoto Corolla invaded by mice is not over, alas), and afterward I went out to dinner with Peg, our painter friend Ashley Cooper (featured elsewhere on the blog), and Tina-whose-last-name-I-do-not-know, a painter employed by Golden Paints in Earlville. Interestingly, Clive Hicks Jenkins (who I just visited in Wales) uses Golden Paints. Tiny world, isn't it?

The world cracked open as we dashed from the restaurant in company with a downpour and thunderstorms. We scuttled to Ashley's car in pairs, huddled under flattened boxes, and Peg and I sat in children's car seats on the way to her car. Lights went out in Cooperstown and elsewhere about the time we left Oneonta, and in the pitch of dark we had views of wondrous lightning, scribbled across the firmament. Once I saw a great round ball of lightning, tethered to a wisp of bright fiber. We were stopped by fire trucks and a downed tree and power lines for a while and glimpsed another tree downed as we passed under our one traffic light, now gone dark. 

Peg developed an elaborate theory, which has now gone out of my head, about how all this cataclysmic activity was extraordinarily good for the book. (Feel free to prove her right by rushing out to obtain a copy for all your acquaintances and any passers-by.)

At home, the living room was ablaze with candles... The house did not burn down, despite children playing with fire, and about six or seven this morning the lights flashed on. All is well.

12 comments:

  1. Wow, what witchy and magical forces you unleashed in that part of the world, Marly!

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  2. marja-leena,

    Like that! A painter friend of mine who is now in Siberia wrote on Ashley's fb page that all that weather was no accident--it was more than coincidence that the weather joined in with the magic!

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  3. Glad it went so well, Marly! My dad, an ace ping-pong player, used to play with Mark Golden quite often. he lives in Earlville but the paint company is actually in New Berlin, isn't it? I want to take a tour!

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  4. Oh, is that where it is...

    I somehow thought it was in Earlville, though I didn't see it when I went to the opera house. Now I know why!

    The whole story about how they developed the paints and the way they sold them is so interesting. And now they are so generous to artists. I like all that. Ping-pong, huh? Does your dad still play?

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  5. Sounds as though you had quite the appropriate atmosphere. I am glad, however, that it didn't go so far as to demolish your community as has happened in the midwest.

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  6. I just heard that graduating seniors around Joplin are donating their graduation money... Sweet, sad. We do sometimes get tornadoes up here, but nothing like those western wedges with multiple funnels.

    I remember seeing tornadoes from the time I lived in Kansas as a child. And I remember being thrown into the air as a storm came on. I wanted to go back to Louisiana. Of course, we know they get cataclysmic weather as well.

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  7. What a great and well-paced blog entry!
    Books, storms, pronunciation, storms and candles!
    And friends doing the things they like to do together.
    MOST excellent!

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  8. Well, Paul SHOVEL, how surprising to see you here instead of popping about on the mutating poetry-reading thread at fb! Books, storms and pronunciation and candles are nothing to that one. Poetry reading. Painters. Typos. Panthers. Panters. Asthma. Lungs. Dark roasted humor. Coffee. Chanoyu. Daruma. Genmaichu. Korean teas. Fugu fish. Paul TREE on liquid filet mignon, probably served in a SHOVEL. But no SHOVEL in sight.
    Once it passed 70, I just retired and decided Esther and Fr. Al need to be friends so they can SHOVEL the tea and fugu news, don't you, Mr. SHOVEL?

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  9. You'll be so seasoned in matters of readings Marly that you'll be able to do them in your sleep! This one sounds lovely and it must be heartening to see so many faces when you rise to stand before the audience. They all look most attentive and appreciative in the photograph.

    Mice in the car! How enchanting and yet weird. We used to be rather infested with them when we first came to Ty Isaf. Pretty little things, field mice who moved in only for the harsh winters. We got ourselves sorted out, moved the larder and re-packaged the garden bird seed so that it wasn't accessible to them. But still they come into our boot-room and make nests in our shoes made out of our own chewed up laces! My shoes are usually tied with garden-twine. Ho hum!

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  10. Maybe that was a real Paul Shovel, do you think?

    Naaah.

    Hi Clive--

    I do like readings so long as there are enough people. Too few always make me edgy. Did I say that already?

    Those are Wales-opportunity mice. They leapt in while my car sat in that garage in the woods, and I was off gallivanting. It is a sort of sweet idea until they chew up your wiring and makes nests in all your filters!

    An elderly friend down the street (alas, she has moved on to the old folks home) told me that when she and her husband bought and restored their c. 1814 house, it was inhabited by many wild animals, including a den of foxes.

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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.