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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Next reading: Oneonta - Green Toad

                    October 5 Saturday 2:00 p.m.
  Marly Youmans reading from The Book of the Red King
                     GREEN TOAD BOOKSTORE
                    198 Main St. Oneonta, NY 13820
                                  (607) 433-8898

I forgot to take any pictures at my North Carolina events for The Book of the Red King. But here's an article (thank you, Megan Pociask) about my reading at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro that has a teeny-weeny head of moi! There I am, talking away above a few giant heads...

One of many charming vignettes
by Clive Hicks-Jenkins of Wales,
maker of many beautiful things,
including the cover/jacket
and interior art
for The Book of the Red King


  1. How lucky you were to draw Megan Pociask. I see she is labelled a staff writer of The Carolinian - an online publication - thus I am unable to judge her status as a journalist (Professional? Hopeful student? Half-time teacher?). Never mind, she did you proud. I see she quotes you (eg, " one of those books that you don't quite know, etc, etc.") and I wonder how. Did you provide a transcript of what you would say? Did she record you electronically? Or does she do some kind of shorthand? Even in this technological age reporters still need some method of grasping (accurately) what was said in public, sometimes at great length. It takes me back.

    I'm astonished by: "You know, sometimes I would write three or four, a day." (Parenthetically I'd like Megan to justify that second comma but that's just the editor in me.) I thought poets and even half-assed versifiers like me kept shtumm on that. Occasionally I'd write a sonnet in an afternoon and only painful experience eventually restrained me from rushing it straight into a blogpost. My first careless raptures never deserved setting in amber (or even in aspic). Perhaps twice in five or six years someone, somewhere, feeling generous after a bountiful lunch came up with "That would be a half-good if you'd done this or that." And I'd be glad all evidence of the site clearance, the external scaffolding and the cement pourer had been removed from sight.

    There's a pleasing innocence about Megan referring to your audience as "fans". I doubt that term would be used this side of the Trough, but then again perhaps it was justified. You were after all fulfilling a request by reading Direction for a Birthday Hat. To make a request a fan would first have to be familiar with the poem. Verily, verily you operate in an elevated world I wot not of. Long may you prosper.

    1. It was poet Jeffery Beam who asked for the birthday-hat poem. So it's pleasant to know he had read the book!

      Most of the time a poem comes along less often. But I do have strange onslaughts now and then, and I love them and can explain nothing about them. Going about with all mental doors open? Receiving gifts from beyond? Sluice from the stars? Hanging around with my classical tutelary spirit? Insanity? That's the way I wrote "Thaliad," too. I woke up and it was just there in my head and wanting to leap out at a most inconvenient time. I adore that sort of thing, but usually I get poems in a more mundane fashion. One here, one there... And I always think that I'll never have another poem-rain but hope I will all the same.

      I am grateful to her but have no idea about who Megan was, although she might have been the young woman to the right who asked a question that I think one of those quotes partly answered... While I didn't see anyone recording, who knows? Electronics are sneaky these days! But it's always lovely to have someone write about an event. And that one was particularly interesting, as there were two poets from out of town and a local novelist and another novelist from elsewhere. I was grateful they came so far--two I knew already (though one I had not seen since I was 18!), and two I e-knew from online contacts on twitter and facebook.

      I have an event in a few hours, and I'm a bit leery about it. I've had good turnouts for fiction in the central New York boondocks, but I am not so sure the locals are poetry readers! I'll find out, of course. But poetry readers are growing scarcer all the time, given the rage for everything being entertainment.


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.