James Gendron's Sexual Boat (Sex Boats) is one of my favorite random purchases. I was at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference when I ran into Anis Mojgani, and asked him to recommend some small presses. He pointed me in the direction of Octopus Books, and I think I ended up dropping about $100 and loving most of the books I picked up from them.
Sexual Boat (Sex Boats), in particular was a joy. I picked it for the unusual name, and that it appeared to be filled with several one page poems with unusual grammar. I loved it more than I understood it. So, in many ways, it was like the book and I had dated for several years.
The title of this blog post is from an interview with James Gendron where he talks about his writing process and comes off more quirky than pompous, which is pretty rare in poets.
The title of the poem is just a rewriting of the title of several of his poems (and his book). I tried to write it in an echo of his voice, as opposed to copying his voice. Then I had the word "echo" in my head, and I had to use it in the first line.
Intimate Dinghy (Affable Gondola)
A stranger's name is a cave without echo
that I have grown too fat to fit into
When someone is
familiar but in the wrong
venue for me to
recognize them I try to
climb head first into their name but
always get caught at the shoulders
Hello and head nod is my
nickname for my impending
what's it called
when you have too many
memories that you can't see
the ocean for the salt
In middle school I outremembered all
my friends and relatives perhaps because there were so
few of them
My imagination was
feral but my memory was a squirrel
raised by a golden retriever
I still remember all of the
answers to the trivial
pursuit cards of my childhood but
modern adult names are
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.