Monday, October 7, 2013

groovy literati

Sophie Cabot Black
Today's Menu

Reading: The Descent by Sophie Cabot Black.

Drinking: Tea (what else)

Thinking: This weekend I left my children with the hubby and went to the Brattleboro Literary Festival. I had tea with a good friend and saw jaw-droppingly beautiful readings by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Pam Houston, Alexis Smith and Sophie Cabot Black.  Sophie  and I were introduced and two sentences into our conversation she said, You're not a MacArthur, are you? and then went on to describe the folk music parties she used to go to at my grandparents' farmhouse back in the seventies. I was drinking wine and we were hunched on a dark-lit stairway. She was wearing cowboy boots and her fingers were covered in turquoise, all of which made me feel like she was my fairy godmother.  I told her I have unrealistically romantic notions of those parties and she said I should absolutely have romantic notions of those parties and said she might even have photos somewhere she could roust up for me. Oh my.

Which is all to say, I'm buzzing. These women are like shots of good liquor to the heart. Endless thanks to the good folks who put on this festival seven miles down the road from my hometown. So you can buzz a little, too, here is a Sophie Cabot Black poem for you:


In this narrow passage I must appear as large
As possible, arms uplifted into what might

Be thought of as God and the idea of how
To get past even this without being killed,

Taken away, for somewhere in the act of want
Is being wanted, and we move

Over the frozen ground in the presumption
One of us will suffer and only one of us will be

Exact enough, which is why I came alone,
Following a creek back up its last place

To see how far I could go, with the raven
Who will not end his circle, the wind as it

Turns through a gnarl of bristlecone. We were
Never meant to be this close and to survive.