Our trip to Northeastern Ohio has been a bit of a whirlwind: a joint reading at Cleveland State on Thursday night, a joint craft talk at Akron State last night. (In the midst of this, Mark has been teaching a four-day workshop at CSU, and I've been attending to the second round of my Fairfield packets back in the hotel room). Earlier yesterday, along with Michael Dumanis and a band of other poets and scholars, we toured Hart Crane's hometown of Garrettsville out in the country northeast of Akron. We saw his grandfather's house, now the rectory of St. Ambrose's Catholic Church. We saw Hart's house, now a private home, whose owners, Dave and Kym Kirk, were kind enough to let us inside. The small dark birthing room into which Hart came into the world houses a padded raspberry-colored table, with an oval cutout at one end. Instantly I thought, Hart Crane was born on that table? born through that oval?--before I recognized it as a massage table. Maybe I hadn't had enough to eat. Still, hours later, I couldn't quite shake off the connection between birth and massage, which seems to cry out for a poem I wouldn't know how to start.
Click here for Mark's post and a fuller account of the day.