David read his poetry, which I would call deceptively simple and precise and humorous and not really be doing it justice. I like his poetry because when it is about a garden, it doesn’t get to marigolds until a few stanzas in. It starts with trash bags slumped against a wall “like black pumpkins” and features maggots that look like rice until they start to move, at which point the narrator observes, “Not rice.”
Lisa read a short story from her collection, The Apple’s Bruise. I like her writing because she has hard-to-love female protagonists, and it seems like hard-to-love male protagonists are more abundant in this world, and hence I don’t love them so much, just not for the obvious reasons. But I love Lisa’s, or at least I like them very, very much. Her stories are tightly crafted in a way that sometimes makes me crave messiness, but layered in that non-linear, Alice Munro way that makes me feel quite satiated.
Also, they are both friendly and funny and genuinely happy for each other’s successes. Lisa talked about how they used to live in a really small apartment where it was almost impossible to write, so they took a writing vacation together. I was picturing somewhere pastoral, where homemade muffins arrive at your door each mo
I realize that this sounds like one of those articles about movie stars who are So Down To Earth—which is probably my least favorite angle for movie star profiles; I much prefer the Q&A that showcases Lindsay Lohan’s full, proud manic-ness in this month’s Elle—and really, most of the authors I’ve met are down to earth. They need to observe the world closely (so it pays to be down with the earth) and they don’t usually make enough money to be divas anyway.
So I’m not sure what my point about Lisa and David is, just that they’re writers who are a little bit older than me and a little (okay, maybe a lot) further along in their careers, but not such rock stars that their lives feel completely separate from mine. So maybe they’re, like, role models or something.
AK and I are going to Vegas this weekend. I’m not planning on writing, but maybe I’ll take a few notes.
Reading with poet and very nice man Steve Kowit.
Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
DG Wills Bookstore,
Also with Steve Kowit. We’re going to be best buds by October.
Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14
Hanging out with Jimmy Santiago Baca, Mike Davis, Luis Rodriguez and…Steve Kowit!