Thursday, June 11, 2009

The I Hate Filing Club and a Poetry Reading Summarized in Simile

We just received a shipment of office supplies, including a box of tabbed file folders. Prominently displayed on the exterior of the box is an advertisement for a companion website, (which, sadly, just goes right to the corporate website). Below the URL, “Join the 'I Hate Filing Club' for FREE filing tips, organizational ideas and solutions.” Wait. But I thought I was joining the club to proclaim that I hate filing, so why would I want you, file folder company, to tell me how to organize and file better? Will this make me not hate filing? Doubtful. On the website I discover you can earn prizes as a member of the I Hate Filing Club, by turning in UPCs and otherwise relinquishing your dignity. Some select items with description:

Spa Box: You’ve had a hard day, it’s time to relax and revitalize. Treat yourself to some calming therapy with candles and incense.

Pendy Bear: Warm, Cute and Cuddly and needs a home. The new Pendy bear sits eight inches high.

After I read this, I let my thoughts wonder to the recesses of my fractured mind, imagining other clubs to join that unite members in their hatred of some other office task.

Last night, I saw Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Dorothea Lasky read at Danny’s Tavern.

This bar is, for better not worse, remarkably like experiencing living in my apartment, but with much more beer and a nicer bathroom. The walls are the same, they’ve gone through some plastering snafus, but it is dark and no one focused on the walls anyway. So, I hunker down on a tiny stool at a tiny table and stopped worrying about the interior decorating.

Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s reading was exactly a basket of red eggs intended as a gift for a neighbor. (These specific eggs are the stuff of a remarkable image that appears in his 2006 collection The Book of Truants & Projectorlight, which he read from.)

Listening to his poetry was like shifting through a sand trap, or, rather, traversing a landscape covered in sand. You can take this to mean it was like being in a sandbox, playing, or trying to reunite with a buried object you dropped a little while ago. As for the uncovering part, listening to his poems proceed, you can imagine yourself on a tour of the interior space of the speaker’s mind, tripping and stumbling on the animal cages, pistols and trees littering the landscape. In this sand-covered world you can pull out all the little items you’ve lost and now found, and the sand slides right off. Unless of course the item in question is a pair of eyeglasses, in which case the sand will have scratched the lens. What I mean to say is his poetry is rewarding as litany and for its explanations of the interpersonal gestures that make possible keeping our heads above water.

With the second reader, Dorothea Lasky, I felt like I was shifting through a dumpster. The Chicago alley dumpsters, where getting trash anywhere in a three foot radius of the lip of the dumpster counts as having successfully taken out the trash. While I’m mentally working my way though her space of phrases and experiences once discarded, now reclaimed, I realize I am extremely happy because I just uncovered an unspoiled, untouched box of one dozen donuts, or a still chilly bottle of unopened Brute champagne. A celebration!

From Lasky’s “Outside Chattanooga, TN”:

Nowadays the young people
They have no children, they eat canned pineapple
Their mouths spilling out with nails and their intestines, they
Fall dry and brittle in their houses.


CVMoore said...

i love you, lew

Laurie W. said...

Why thank you.

Travis Fortney said...

Danny's Tavern may have us beat in the bathroom dept., but we have a much nicer fish tank.