In only a few weeks (Sept. 13, to be exact), the Calliope Poetry Series will begin its ninth season with a special reading by Mark Doty and Lorna Knowles Blake at the West Falmouth Library. As a sneak preview, below is a poem from Lorna’s first book, Permanent Address, which won the Richard Snyder Memorial Award from Ashland University Press.
Saint’s Landing, Brewster, Massachusetts
September, and the garden’s blown
and bolted, wren and finch have flown
south, and the sun sets farther down
the bay each passing night. We hate
the thought of leaving; contemplate
alternatives, as if this bright
and ample season could endure
beyond the calendar’s secure
curfew, but Labor Day is here
and autumn is ready to sue
for possession. What do we do?
Procrastinate, then pack and go—
my books, your music, linen clothes
and one more summer is foreclosed
upon by rituals such as these:
stacking canoes and wicker chairs,
arguing over small repairs
required by weather or the years.
Where is the pulse of a home? What
is the soul of a house? That
marriage of dwelling and spirit?
Perhaps it’s in the flow of tide,
a herring gull’s suspended glide,
the constant birdsong in the shade
reminding us: you are, you are.
Then, just before we load the car,
the house fills with the airy fire
of sunset and we shroud the place
in bedding, a green-sprigged embrace
of percale and flannel and fleece.
Is it love, I wonder, when we’re done
or time we’re shielding from the sun,
beneath these sheets that we slept on.
At the Calliope reading, you’ll be able to hear Lorna read poems from a new collection (several of which have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cortland Review, Literary Imagination, Tampa Review, and the Hudson Review). You’ll also hear Mark read from his latest book, Deep Lane, which one reviewer called “his best work yet.” (Pretty fine praise, given that his 2008 book Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the National Book Award.)
The Sept. 13 reading will run from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $25 apiece at the Calliope website or by check made out to Calliope, c/o Alice Kociemba, P.O. Box 957, West Falmouth, MA 02574. Please include a contact e-mail or phone number so your reservation can be confirmed.
See you at Calliope!
About Calliope: Poetry for Community
Founded in January 2008 by Alice Kociemba, Calliope seeks to foster and celebrate community through a shared appreciation of poetry. The readings have featured both well-known and emerging poets, and many have included an open mike for local poets. For more information about upcoming events, go to calliopepoetryseries.com.