Friday, November 21, 2008
Mothered into Art
Just in the door from a fantastic reading at Teachers and Writers Collaborative in Midtown, featuring Austin LaGrone, James Allen Hall, and Mark. I'd never heard our friend James read from a broad selection of his poetry before, and I'm still thrilling to the emotional depth, courage, and rigor of his work. As Mark and I said to him afterward, he not only makes us want to write, but to be braver in what we write.
1) Mark, Austin, James and the back of my head (photo by John Masterson)
2) Mark, James, and Jericho Brown, who was in town from San Diego for a week's worth of readings.
"Family Portrait" from NOW YOU'RE THE ENEMY
James Allen Hall
If I could turn the photograph, bring my mother's face
to the bright eye of myth, my unflinching lens,
you'd see she's mouthing the words: Take the picture already.
You'd see my father's lust, his loathing
molding her body into some four-legged
photogenic thing, whipped and adored.
You'd see my mother emerging from the ghost world
limb by limb, carrying on her bowed shoulders
Eros and his sadomasochistic twin.
In the dim violated light, she's marked
by a man who can't let any part of her go.
In the light my father makes in the dark,
I was mothered into art.