06 December 2004

happy birthday Jim

"For Jim Provenzano's 19th Birthday" is one of my best-known poems. it's even been translatd into Greek by no less than Dinos Christianopoulos . it was written in 1980 when I was smitten by an attractive student whose talents (actor/dancer/writer/artist) were as estimable as his good looks. I was responsible for what I think was his first publication when I printd his portrait of James Dean with my poem "Autobiographical Fragment" as a broadside. Jim wd housesit when I took trips. sometimes we watchd movies together. at 37 I was -- even then -- "the older man." there was no romance & when he left Kent State we lost touch. but years later we reconnectd & happily we're now friends.

Jim has become a famous commentator on gay sports & an increasingly important novelist. I send him this on his special day.


there is a beauty
abt an old book

creases & dog ears
a poet’s teeth marks
once hot phone number
now forgot
half a snapshot
stuck between chapters
even a chocolate smudge

it all adds up
to a life


Malibu said...

Fantastic entry. Beautiful poem. Will be a favorite for sure. And a happy bday to Jim.

Moi said...

"there is a beauty
abt an old book"

So true, so true...
I've been sorting and getting rid of books, because I finally decided there were too many and there is no more space for more shelves.
It is so hard to do.
Do I really need my freshman year copy of Moby Dick?
Can I give away any book by Peter DeVries?
Can I part with any of the Paul Austers?
No way.
Maybe the Lovecraft? OK.
Do i really need two copies of A Confederacy of Dunces?
Yes, because they are two different editions.
Will I read The Go Between again someday for the 10th or 11th time?
What is this note, this photo, this ticket stub, boarding pass, restaurant card, picture of a saint with someone's birth and death date on the other side, foreign currency, etc. stashed inside?
And then repeat, hundreds of times,
"Will I ever read that book again?
No, but maybe."
Maybe I should find a bigger house.


AlexG said...

Moi -- not so long ago I reread "Confederacy of Dunces" for the 1st time in eons. I laughd so hard.

one lovely thing abt getting older is that I've forgoten so much. so it was like reading Toole for the 1st time.