Tonight I am going over to Dara Syrkin's house.
She is preparing to debut a set of work at THE May 15TH University Club reading.
Dara is nervous.
My job, I'm guessing will be to nod along...pretty much with whatever poems give her the most comfort.
For years Dara and I have sat next to each other at poetry events.
We are both "Cancers" and therefore sensitive, but opinionated.
One of the things that the 2 of us have noticed over the last year is so many poets mention of "Love Making" during their poems.
I hate to come off uptight, but we simply don't want to hear what goes on in your bedroom.
Even more recently, some of my cities top poets have presented work where they have felt it was important to share their observations of......
*CHICKENS "DOING IT"
*WOLVES "GOING AT IT"
I think its safe to say, few people my age are more immature than me, but when people try to act all "coy and comfortable" with sexuality...it freaks me out.
With that said, and this is kinda a weird segue, leaving the topic of "animal sex", and then moving on to my mentor....
But sometimes when I get an extra minute. I Google certain searches to see what poems of his will arise.
Moments ago, when I submitted "Mike Finley Poet" a piece from December 8th 2008 popped up.
It was from a column written by the Duluth Poet Laureate Jim Johnson and it was called the "Whats Light Poem"
Can you imagine the horror when my eyes did that quick scan down the columns of words and I saw Finley speaking about hamsters and love making in the same paragraph?
It seemed like some kind of build up to a bad Richard Gere joke, anyways.......I always value knowing what goes on in a poets head, not just at the moment, but from where they were in the past as well.
But if it takes place in your bedroom, bathroom or a hospital, just count me out.
Sit back and enjoy.......
Several times I have opened an eye at night
certain someone was moving in the house,
but it was only the chrome wheel turning
Or we would be making love and hear the sound
of metal on metal from the children's room —
the ball in the drip bottle pushed and released.
The crunch of seed between pointed pearls,
the scurry and blink of prisoners.
In the cane, in the damp, in the moldy dark, they spin.
I try to think of a poem as a gift. This means it needs to be something someone would want to get. I also take pains, as I get older, not to lay claim to things that aren't mine—not to steal stories, or pretend I have felt or experienced things I have not. I like humor, even in very serious writing—the willingness to look at things in a surprising way. Finally, I try to write for folks who do not read too many poems. Because a world that is all poem is like a hothouse, when what we need is fresh air and light.
Mike Finley is author of over forty three books of poems, downloadable versions of which are free on his website. He has won a Pushcart Prize and a Wisconsin State Arts Fellowship. His nonfiction book Why Teams Don't Work was named "Best Management Book, 1995" by The Global Business Book Awards. Mike is currently finishing a memoir titled Fixing the Christians. He lives with his family in Saint Paul.