Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tom Orange in Portland, 5/30/08

Met up with Tom Orange on his recent pass through Portland, one thing led to another and a reading ensued. First from American Dialectics, where “Hence, I tergiversate” captures some of the tongue-in-cheek wobble as a rhetorically shifty and relentlessly shifting “I” piles up truthy statements thick with “I”s; then on to some terrific comment box poems left as responses on Ryan Walker’s Bathybius; then a few from Tethering, a series of six-line poems in conversation with Sheila E. Murphy’s, to close.

Orange explained that “tethering,” aside from its earthier meanings, is used in space travel to describe the process by which one orbiting mass draws propulsive energy and momentum from another. It hit me as an apt description of the way we all move through the poetry cosmos, borrowing thrust from bodies and orbits most readers rarely see. Orange brought a heightened attention to the relationships of affection and camaraderie that mulch inspiration, and had me convinced by the end all poems are essentially comments left on some other poet’s blog, not such a bad model for the art. Plus I liked the way he lit up when talking about Ryan Walker's writing; a whole poetics just in that.


maryrose larkin said...

I'm so sorry I didn't know about this reading. I would have loved to attend.


rodney k said...

Hi Maryrose,

It went down sort of spontaneous-like--meeting with Tom, Tom deciding to sit and read some poems.

He was one in that Olympia group that took part in the Press conference over Memorial Day Weekend: Laura Elrick, Rodrigo Toscano, Lorraine K. Graham, Mark Wallace, etc. I wish we could have persuaded all of them to come Portland-way for a real reading.

rodney k said...

Quick P.S.: That's K. Lorraine Graham, natch. Speed-type mistype.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

All of us adore Portland at this point, and although I'm speaking for all of us, I'm sure that's true.

But speaking as myself, every time I head up to San Francisco, I try and plot in my head a way of heading up to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver as well. If only.