Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Ordinary World

I have the privilege of reading Jo Hemmant's Houdini poems in manuscript. I don't know any other poet quite like Jo. She's a novelist, really – but her novels are a couple dozen lines long. The writer she reminds me of most is Maupassant. That spareness and clarity. I think she hails from an alternate universe, in which Wordsworth and T. S. Eliot never existed. None of this heavy breathing and groping for God's privates, none of this blundering about knocking over the furniture in search of the sublime. She has nothing to confess or apologize for. It's the ordinary human world, but in focus for the first time. You didn't know how blurry your vision was, until you put on your Jo glasses.



The next three-week project is underway. No refined carbs at breakfast, fresh veggies every day, no eating after 7:30 pm.



Winter is quietly packing his belongings, getting ready to leave. He's been an unobtrusive guest this year, in the Willamette Valley.

8 comments:

Jo Hemmant said...

There I was, minding my own business on Facebook and this message popped up about your post. I love you :)

carolee said...

Yup. I love Jo's poems. Capturing those characters so brilliantly and thoroughly in a tiny space.

Dale said...

You want to be careful about Facebook: it's full of poetry stalkers :-) xoxo

Dick said...

Words to hoard, Jo, for your next slim volume!

marly youmans said...

Shall have to take a look...

I am going to be good starting tomorrow because I have just now finished up the rather large amount of Valentine chocolates.

marly youmans said...

Took a nap (dreadful things, but I got up too early and stayed up too late), felt disconcerted and depressed about nothing when I woke--and so decided to search for your AWOL book until I found it. And did! Somewhat to my surprise...

Secreted between the Clive Hicks-Jenkins poetry anthology and the book of essays about him...

This is good for me (shall go read) but less good for you (was going to give up and order a second copy.)

As word verification says, "rocking rencychi!"

Dale said...

Rocking rencychi, man. But I'd rather be read than bought! I'm happy :-)

marly youmans said...

Me too. Sporting about in your book!