google2a2dd558cabf67a3.htm

Monday, June 6, 2016

Prose Poetry By James Reidel and a Surfing Illustration By Jenny Mathews

James Reidel is the author of the poetry collections Jim's Book (Black Lawrence Press, 2013) and My Window Seat for Arlena Twigg (Black Lawrence Press, 2006). He wrote the definitive and only biography on Weldon Kees, Vanished Act: The Life and Work of Weldon Kees (University of Nebraska Press, 2003), and edited 3 Entertertainments (Knives Forks Spoons Press, 2012), which features three of Kees’s works for film and television. Reidel received a National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship in 2009. In 2013 he was a resident poet at the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut. Reidel's poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, The New Criterion, The Adirondack Review, DMQ Review, and the inaugural issue of (ĕm). Reidel’s translations of Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh and Pale Blue Ink in a Lady’s Hand were published by Godine in 2012. His translations of Thomas Bernhard's In Horas Mortis and Under the Iron of the Moon were published as a single volume by Princeton University Press in 2006. Reidel lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Three Prose Poems Written too Close
to Each Other
James Reidel


Surf City
Some Atlantic City casino’s offer struggles on its line far behind the tailplane. The pilot of the banner tug must see the many clotheslines strung up along the dunes. One conversation with him would prove its existence—from house to house, pole to pole, for nearly a hundred miles, give or take. The colorful beach towels and swimwear, tops and bottoms, the cutoffs must flutter like this incredible and accidental display of prayer flags. I felt the awe you didn’t feel—and with those words I would end it at the bar near the municipal field, where such pilots must drink away the boredom of their flights back and forth, up and down.
Now, against the wind, the tug almost comes to a standstill in the thermals rising upward, their columns stoked by gulls and the oil and yellow smell of the lotion and paperbacks. The latter come from this other accident found along the Jersey shore—the lending libraries every beach house has, stocked with the vacation reading from the years before. I have proven at least one exists—and like every opinion, experience, that would almost be enough. I look out from under the open pages as though from a turtle’s shell and my eyes smart in the brightness. I contemplate the free crab legs drifting away now. I would need a pair of them, for the sand is hot, long and sturdy stilt ones. I could throw them away like crutches as soon as I stood on the wet wood boardwalk leading to the shower stall. There the green plastic hose lies in a coil and tempts one to drink from it, while it sprays from its dull brass couplings and makes a rainbow attended by a cloud of biting flies. The silver spray handle gives one a sidelong look so old, so dead-on asking for it, to be trampled by my whitest of feet, to pull the trigger, to shoot myself in the foot, in them both, fish in a barrel.
The beach tar, of course, will never come off without a good rubbing of Crisco. And then what do you do with your hands in this gray lather? The ink at the corners of every page would fade. So, I go back to reading in my little piece of shade. Maybe I shall just wade out into the water, just up to my ankles, where the waves might subtract a few inches from my loftiness, where I can give my tender, sunburned shoulders a big self-hug properly scored (more at modesty) and listen for the bells of the ice cream vendor.

Cowabunga Dude from Jenny Mathews Tiny Drawings
The Electric Herd
„weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört“
No one would dare me as the snow crunched underfoot. No one would hold my little green bottle that kept me warm between bars. Along those dim avenues lined with enormous wreathes the color of moss, that kind that ropes the forest from bough to bough, and red ribbons that flapped in the wind from the gaslights. I pointed toward the public crèche and the electric herd, which even had an albino buck. This compelled me to relate the story of the tame white one the god rode through the forest around the Nara temple. Since no one had ever heard this story before, nor knew that such stories began with some incredible mortal, someone quite ordinary really, who did some incredible deed, some feat, such that no one would ever forget, never get out of their heads. Their children and their children’s children would be born with it or, at least, have some inkling for centuries afterward. So, I thought I should demonstrate since no one would think to dare me and if you want something done right, you do it yourself. I asked the youngest of my companions to hold my bottle and he did, as young people do, smiling in that sly way before being entertained. I said watch me cover my consort and I did, across the street, in the commons, until her white wire legs buckled under my weight. I could not help but to pitch forward and suddenly trample out the wineglass thin bulbs of her antlers which made them all go dark before coming to a stop, to kneel on my cold bare knees, my arms raised, as they might think in the shadows across the street, for a “touchdown” that, in hindsight, was not.
Beech Snow

Wading out into the stream in boots that look like a fireman’s—maybe that is why you are so brave. You step deeper and an escort of water skaters leaves you alone now as the stream rushes higher around the rubber shafts. There is even a semblance of undertow, but you feel the flat rocks, the fine gravel give through the gum soles. It is the same place, it is just the insistence that is not. This becomes more so as you go out further, to where you feel your “sea legs,” where the water still has some of its winter chill. As you wade deeper the stream begins to press on the skin of your legs, to where you might feel something like this other false companionship, that of a good, stout dog at your side. Here you could tell the stream something you appreciate—even as the water holds its ears and falls lalala into a pool where minnows dart from your shadow—that a creek really does aspire for bigger game, for watertight bulkheads, funnels, not just boots and your wool socks, that all water takes itself seriously, that old saw about drowning in a teaspoon. You wiggle your toes as it answers with all the crush depth of a shoe salesman thumb. And there is safety in numbers. You regard the gray roots all around on either bank, firmly planted, ball-and-claw along the slopes, some encompassing rocks, roots that rise into the mammoth legs of a beech stand, with the younger trees like calves amid the protection of a herd. The beech are in leaf now, and when the breeze blows, the tissue casings of the spring foliage come snowing down as though torn methodically from a brown paper bag, what you would chewed to the same points, like sable brushes. You remember how your spit tasted now, how sour it was while waiting for the lunch bell.

21 comments:

  1. I have read your poems just now and I liked them a lot. But why are the sentences so long?. They sound cool but they break the tempo in the middle.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beauti Queen amazing kolkata escorts agency alwyas ready for you at your doorstep. Beauti Queen provide you high profile independent girl in kolkata, escorts service in kolkata, kolkata escorts. If you are looking for the ultimate encounter in Kolkata then I am your sophisticated young Kolkata escorts that provides upscale companionship for making your night becomes true.
    Escorts Service in Kolkata
    Escorts in Kolkata
    http://www.kolkataqueen.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are providing Best Escort Service in Gurgaon with affordable rates, just call us for Hi profile Call Girls in Gurgaon . Contact us for Call Girl in Gurgaon. Gurgaon Escorts|Escorts in gurgaon| Escorts services in Gurgaon| female Escorts in Gurgaon| Independent Escorts in gurgaon|

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jiya Roy is a high class luxury and premium escorts agency in Gurgaon offering sexy independent escort Girls, models and cheap rate call girls for incalls and outcalls and travel arrangements. Female companions available 24/7 for business events, tour guide and much more.
    Gurgaon Escorts
    Escorts in Gurgaon

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jiya Roy is a high class luxury and premium escorts agency in Gurgaon offering sexy independent escort Girls, models and cheap rate call girls for incalls and outcalls and travel arrangements. Female companions available 24/7 for business events, tour guide and much more.
    Female Escorts in Gurgaon
    Escorts in Gurgaon
    http://www.gurgaonfemales.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Renu Das Kolkata Escorts Services has gorgeous females provides Independent Escorts Service in Kolkata call girls at 100% satisfaction with VIP models. Provided Kolkata escorts at our agency are professional in nature and are eager to serve you at your place.
    Kolkata Escorts
    Escorts in Kolkata
    http://www.renudas.in

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good . I learn unique articles here. I really appreciate your job. keep updating your site. You are great and you made very lovely site.

    Female escorts Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  8. you are admirable person because you are providing free information. And your writing skill is so high. I appreciate you job.

    Escorts in Bhopal

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am Tanya Bhati, 5.5'' feet, a prominent model and decent, tender and pleasing individual. I am a Bangalore Escorts, having worked already with great promoting and displaying office. I live and work in outstanding amongst other High Profile regions of Bangalore – Indira Nagar, Marathahalli, Koramangala, Banashankari, Jayanagar, Basavanagudi, Ulsoor, Whitefield, Hebbal, Malleswaram, And all Over in Bangalore. I have been conceived and gotten the most lively city of the nation Bangalore. Being raised in Bangalore, I have all the style, Discipline and Manners expected to please prominent customers.
    Escort in Bangalore
    Bangalore Escorts Service
    Independent Escorts Bangalore
    Escorts Service in Bangalore
    Bangalore Escort

    Bangalore Escorts agency

    Independent Escorts Service in Bangalore

    Bangalore Escorts Agency

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Guys, I am Madhu from Gurugram & Gurgaon. I am as autonomous Gurugram Escorts Service I am a wonderful female in Gurugram and I have alluring finger hot body for enjoyment and fun, you can Trust About my administration an escort in Gurugram (Gurgaon Escorts) and pick high class buddy date to dreams completely entire. In the event that you need to truly meet me then I am make ruler for night, stop the find on the off chance that you Independent Gurugram Escorts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello sexy friends,I am Kavita Sharma from Mumbai escorts service. You are welcome to all friends Kavita Sharma name is not hidden from anyone. Kavita Sharma is a shining name, a hidden is not. Friends have you ever our service. If yes then do not need to tell you something. And if you have not taken our Mumbai escort service, you must try once you. Our independent escorts service may be the motto and that is just a word. Dear Gentlemen, do you I warmly welcome Kavita Sharma, Dear you, I’ll tell you a little about ourself.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Riya Chaudhary is an Independent Delhi Escort girl, who offers dazzling hot Delhi Escorts Service, incall or outcall services both to complete your dreams in real entertainment. We offers high class Independent Escorts in Delhi at Riya Chaudhary Delhi Escorts service agency for elite peoples in the city to avail ultimate satisfaction. you can spend your beautiful moments.
    Delhi Escorts
    Independent Escorts in Delhi
    http://www.riyachaudhary.in

    ReplyDelete
  13. impressive blogging style man. Good do it and keep it like that man it amazing what you are doing. Info was unique and amazing.

    Vizag Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  14. Meet With Your Dream Girl in Mumbai.Incall & Outcall Services In Mumbai.Every Services
    Provide by using Mumbai Escorts.24*7 Service For Clients In Mumbai.High Class Escorts Service in Mumbai.All Type Escorts Service Provider
    in Mumbai .Mumbai Escort Agency offer High Class Model Escorts From Around The World .24X7 Hour Escort Service in Mumbai.True GFE from
    Highly encouraged Mumbai Escorts Agency.VisitMY internet site http://www.Escortservicesmumbai.Com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. physically fit and healthy. This avoids the danger of catching STD from those escort girls. Apart from this, their beauty
    http://www.mumbaiescortsclub.in/call-girls-andheri/

    ReplyDelete
  16. If you're comfortable talking any one of those languages, it is easy to converse with them.
    Karol bagh Escorts
    Gurgaun Escorts
    Ghaziabad Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mohini Misra in Delhi is an Independent escorts in delhi with high profile here for your entertainment and fulfill your desires in delhi call girls best service.
    Delhi Escorts Services

    ReplyDelete
  18. The fastest way of finding something interesting is only your blog. user friendly blog, Thank you.

    mumbai escorts

    ReplyDelete
  19. Everybody has different options so that you may readily obtain any escort support and simply tell them exactly what kind of girl do you wish to meet together with the skilled services will likely be certain you fulfilled with your fantasy woman.
    Delhi Escorts
    South Delhi Escorts
    Vasant Kunj Escorts
    Russian Call Girl In Delhi Escorts
    Malviya Nagar Escorts
    Paharganj Escorts
    Lajpat Nagar Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  20. My favorite topic buddy and well written, with awesome design. Thank you so much.

    Real estate consulting service Dubai

    real estate dealer in dwarka

    ReplyDelete