Saturday, March 21, 2015

who reads yevgeny yevtushenko?

can i let the first day of spring pass without remarking upon it?  lovely lovely lovely and more lovely days.  sure, one can be a realist and point out how fucked we are in this world.  oh, but then what of all this useless beauty?

i attended a reading tonight with a poet friend.  the reader published his second novel.  the reading was held at an indie bookstore in downtown davis.  a university town.  the town was jumping for a friday night.  lots of students.  lots of bicycles. 

afterward my buddy and i headed to an irish pub for a couple of pints and bites to eat.  my friend is an adjunct professor.  me, i've not been inside a classroom since i finished my MA in 2000.  we talked about the po biz.  we commiserated.  we held each other.  but we shed no tears.  this is the life we chose.  poetry.  living.  family.  careers?  that's another concern outside of poetry.

before the reading the novelist, a mutual friend and i were standing in the poetry aisle.  i was looking at the selection.  i said, almost tongue in cheek, for i had seen a volume of yevtushenko's earlier in the evening at the sac poetry center, who reads yevtushenko.  i've been watching many yevtushenko videos on youtube.  i do, said the novelist.  i do too, i replied.

in all this useless beauty we find those bits that matter most to us.  regardless of fashion, or climate.  at least in our better moments.  for me as a younger man saw yevtushenko as a product of the cold war.  as an older gent i see the russian poet as pretty damn fascinating.

a matter of perspective.  and taste.  too.  tastes do not have careers.  neither does perspective.  history will choose whom and what it wants regardless of our machinations and desires.  better to just get on with the arts of writing and living.  in the end, it does not get better than that.


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