The Motor Maid (TREDITION CLASSICS)

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The food always looks better than it tastes. The chicken is soggy. The noodles are slimy. Violet Mints. Girls Beware. Of course, this is absolutely false. He does have a style; it is just that it is neither literary nor a form of branding. While he has a huge bag of tricks, particularly in the early books, In Advance of the Broken Arm and Great Balls of Fire , he seems never to rely on a particular device — collage, for example — to generate work over a long period.

He does not try to be profound, which is not to say his poems are modest — as that can become, and often is, a pose.

They are not about a favorite pet, though animals do run and even somersault in at least one poem. They are not political or claiming to be agents of social change. They are apt to be occasional, funny, and about something quotidian or underfoot — such as reading a French-English dictionary, drinking chocolate milk or having a fantasy about seeing his father sitting on the front porch as it rains. But for all the humor and air of innocence that dances through the poems — as nimble, succinct and gracefully elegant as Fred Astaire — other feelings, at once dark and possibly unfathomable, are hinted at, without Padgett stepping in and spelling them out.

To write about them is to cheapen them as well as turn them into a commodity. It is to go into the comfort and encouragement business. Poet Ron Padgett reveals that in the s, while a senior at Columbia, he found a dusty novel in a Manhattan bookstore. Originally written for teenage girls during World War I, Padgett has been playfully rewriting the cross-country adventure story ever since he stumbled across it.

More than 50 years in the making, the result — Motor Maids across the Continent — can be called a doctored novel, a white-out novel or an erasure novel. Padgett calls it the literature of the fantastic. What would grandpa have said? But now when we are, at the last moment, about to start on this amazing journey, I cannot help but think that it is a wild adventure.

Do I use the correct word? With a happy laugh the four girls jumped into their seats. One of the attendants from the hotel gave the crank a dexterous throbbing sound of machinery, and up shot the horsepower, eager to be on the road. It was a glorious morning toward the last of May, the air just frosty enough to make the blood tingleacross the cheeks. The red car sped through the sunshine with all the beauty of machinery in perfect order, and the polished plate glass of the windguard reflected the four happy faces of the Motor Maids and the inscrutable face of their aunt off on a lark, which, when all is said and done, will have carried them through many an adventure along the way.

Through Chicago they whirled, past fine homes where sleepy maids and blinking butlers were raising the blinds to let in the morning light, through business streets already humming with energy, and at last out through the interesting suburbs. Billie the motorist knew it all like a book because she had written it for the past week.


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Every day she had taken pencil and paper along some fifty maps and guide books until her mind reflected now only a great bird, through the center of which was drawn a bright red line—the road The Comet was to take straight to the Pacific Ocean. But there was much to talk about. I said that representing the class, I wanted to thank her for the splendid lessons she had given us last winter, and we wished to show our appreciation by giving her a little membrane. How embarrassed she must have felt! Was she angry? She drew herself stiffer and straighter than a frozen broom and swept across the floor.

I suppose Miss Hawkes is just a little bit queer in her upper story. If, on your journey, you should by chance hear the name of Hawkes, do not treat it as lightly as you did in West Haven.


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Somewhere in the West that name is powerful. Signed, Anna Hawkes. The topic grew incredible. Ron Padgett: Poetic Beginnings. Ron Padgett intro — Paterson. And yet, I sometimes feel, if genre has collapsed why does it still today seem to rule supreme? The exigencies of the poem? The style of the couturier—the seamstress, snip, snip, slash? Yet there must be one, perhaps in Hebrew or Japanese or languages that unroll in different directions than English, right?

I lose always at Trivial Pursuit and am rarely able to remember the names of even the most famous actors.

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I know some things! Can you talk a bit about the function of naming, from pop superstars to more the obscure poetry personalities in your work? Do you feel like the act of naming is an attempt to preserve people you love? I came across this notebook I had when I was in college and it went on and on with the names of guys two girls, three hundred guys , like a poem, and even now years later some of them bounce back out of memory in response to reading their names.

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Yes, naming preserves, at least it does for me. Doomed and dizzied by memory of lovers, cities, troubles, stray phrases still audible over a radioed past, these new poems seeks a sandcastle San Francisco only to find it slowly dissolving into its past. It takes its sweet time in this tumble dry bed, which thou shall work as the water of the spheres,. A single look at the packed parking lot of the average high school will tell us what has happened. If I only had life to live I would live it with a blond like you.

Frozen roses are frozen red, frozen violets are frozen blue. Poems 3: Kevin Killian. That extra work does sound rough. The new GIF work is just a short piece, more sort of a fun one than a serious one.

ISBN 13: 9783849152161

Ha, thanks, yeah, Ed and I were unbelievably coked up in that photo, as anyone over the age of 2 or 3 could obviously surmise. Best, Dennis. Well, artists and others have been using cocaine for ages and ages. And cocaine is an attractive material to work with and has something of a shelf life as opposed to, say, mushrooms, which instantly decompose.

I did quite a fair amount of cocaine at a certain point. Cocaine is not a profound drug, but I enjoyed its effects and learned things as a writer from writing and thinking about writing while being on it. Photo documentation would be most welcome, thank you. Sorry about the Giants. No surprise at all about the Dodgers. Great to see you, B! Take good care! I remember when it was first published in English there were rumors that it was written by Nabokov under a pseudonym, but I think the rumors came to nothing.

Glad you liked it, pal. Great about the reading, and thank you a lot for the link to an excerpt from her work. The Golden Fur collaboration is still being figured out. And Zac is making video projections. Happy early?


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  4. What a cool, generous gift! Not a bad day you had there at all. My day … it was super nice outside so I walked a bunch. I was going to walk to the Palais de Tokyo because they opened a new bookstore that they claim is the best in Paris, but it was just a little too far, and I got tired of walking after a while. Zac is heading away to visit his dad in California on Saturday, coming back the day before we start editing, so we organized some editing-related stuff that we need to fix before we start.

    I worked on the GIF thing and other stuff. Not much else really. And your Thursday was …?

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    In my experience, cocaine is good for the converser but not so much for the conversee. There are good reasons to hate cocaine. Huh, I get why you saw Gisele in her, but, yeah, nah.