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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Air Supply

I rode my bike to UMKC after work on Monday to attend a poetry reading. Terrance Hayes, winner of the National Book Award. Yeah, I never heard of him either, but I'm as new to the poetry world as I am to commuter cycling.

I go to chain up and there's a couple of bikes on the couple of racks, which is all well and good. But UMKC has stepped it up, one of the racks has a built in tire pump, complete with a dual head to supply Presta or Schrader valves. Coolest thing I'd seen all day.

Hayes' poetry was a mixed bag for me. He's more in that academic poetry milieu than the spoken word stuff I've grown fond of. But when he was funny, he was pretty funny; and when he did the poem about meeting his birth-father, I was impressed with how deftly he compressed things.

It was the longest piece he read, but still a remarkable piece of economic language.

After which I had a beautiful ride back to my favorite poet's place. The forecast had said it would rain, and I'd packed accordingly Monday morning. In fact, I'd prepared so thoroughly a part of me was disappointed at not getting to test myself against the challenge.

A small part, a part that knows weathermen are, at best, half confidence artist and half voodoo witchdoctor here in the Midwest. I'll get wet when I'm not expecting it or even remotely prepared, no doubt.

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