Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 7:00 pm, poets Deborah Gorlin and Joy Ladin will continue the ninth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)
Deborah Gorlin has published in a wide range of journals including Poetry, Antioch Review, American Poetry Review, Seneca Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Harvard Review, Green Mountains Review, Bomb, Connecticut Review, Women’s Review of Books, New England Review, and Best Spiritual Writing 2000. Before winning the 2014 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, for Life of the Garment, she won the 1996 White Pine Poetry Press Prize for her first book of poems, Bodily Course. Gorlin holds an MFA from the University of California/Irvine. Since 1991, she has taught writing at Hampshire College, where she serves as co-director of the Writing Program. She is currently a poetry editor at The Massachusetts Review.
Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, has published seven books of poetry, including recently published Impersonation, Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life and Lambda Literary Award finalist Transmigration. Her memoir, Through the Door of Life, was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist,and she has also published a study of American poetry, Soldering the Abyss: Emily Dickinson and Modern American Poetry. Her work has appeared in many periodicals, including American Poetry Review, Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and North American Review, and has been recognized with a Fulbright Scholarship.
FAT SPEAKS / Deborah Gorlin
Unlike the mirroring eyes, the pom-pom heart,
I’m opaque, an oaf with no taste for driven individuation.
I’m blamed a lot these days:
I dumb down your cheekbones,
I assuage your nerves, calmed by my myelin sheaths,
your cells are founded upon my lipids.
You fiddle with my endomorphic math,
but fail to control my dense valence.
As an iconoclast, I refuse your templates.
I’m the concept and the fact: I’m fat,
brother to the obese sun, I conserve heat.
I set my own thermostat.
Mountain in my own Tibet,
not a bone or organ sullies my pure content.
I am that I am. Look at
you anorectic girls who want to be plants,
Giacomettis who cheat life of its most voluptuous
responses. Worship me. I heat your houses,
butter your bread, lube this global rock, lighten it up.
Holy, I anoint your heads with oil.
PHYSICALLY / Joy Ladin
You pull on your body like a favorite leather jacket.
It’s comfortable, broken in or maybe just broken;
you’re lucky that it looks so right
even though it isn’t.
You can’t remember where you got it,
when you started feeling naked
without its butterflies and clicking zippers
and cravings to sing in the dead of night.
Your body is too much fun,
like a dozen apes trying on shoes,
it showers you with love and smoke, poetry
and unburped Tupperware.
Why can’t it hold you quietly, like a shaft of sun
holding a rectangle of butter?
Why do you keep leaving it at parties?
What would you do without it?