Readings in Contemporary Poetry
Deborah Garrison and Gary Lenhart
Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 6:30 pm, Dia Chelsea
Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 6:30 pm
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York City
Readings in Contemporary Poetry curator, Vincent Katz provided an introduction for the evening's reading.
Free for Dia members; $10 general admission; $6 admission for students and seniors
Advance ticket purchases recommended. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door, subject to availability.
Deborah Garrison is the poetry editor of Alfred A. Knopf and a senior editor at Pantheon Books. Prior to joining the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in 2000, she spent fourteen years at the New Yorker, where she edited both fiction and nonfiction and wrote criticism for the books section. She is the author of the collections A Working Girl Can’t Win and Other Poems (Random House, 1998) and The Second Child (Random House, 2007). Her poems and pieces about poetry have appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Slate,Yale Review, and other journals.
In the interval between waking
for a moment,
less than a moment,
I forgot you had died.
The crashing bliss
only dawned as
I knew my mistake.
Bent in half and heaving
as one never does again.
Then a lifetime of nights
just that kind of sleep,
that kind of waking
like a vicious gift.
Knowing myself a fraud.
Too old to need you now.
But if --
for a quarter second
through the needle's
eye again just once --
Gary Lenhart is the author of six collections of poetry, including The World in a Minute (Hanging Loose Press, 2010), Father and Son Night (Hanging Loose Press, 1999), and Light Heart (Hanging Loose Press, 1991). He is also the author of two collections of prose: Another Look: Selected Prose (Subpress, 2010) and The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry and Social Class (University of Michigan Press, 2006). He has contributed essays, poems, and reviews to many anthologies and magazines, and edited the magazines Mag City and Transfer as well as volumes on the work of Michael Scholnick and William Carlos Williams. Lenhart has taught at numerous colleges and universities and is currently a senior lecturer at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he has taught since 1996.
I don’t want to sentimentalize their lives,
Lives I wouldn’t want to live, but did,
Happily as most children, though
I wouldn’t eagerly again. It was a life
Lived for children and dependent upon
Children’s spark, dark and childish
In their absence. Its glees were simple as bells
Ring, gold coins spill, a priest sings.
But kids are mostly quick, get up and get out,
Leaving behind what’s best left but not
Without remorse. They return, but can’t,
So when they do they dull too which can’t be
Proved, rebuked, or ignited
By metaphor, for who are these parents
But blunderers like you and me, adult others
As unlike us as our origins, full of hope and
Children hopping around and off, because
Despite our hopes there’s only love to hold us
Here, a love without hope except for children
Quick to grow and go to the coast or, better,
Cross to Italy, beautiful Italy, where the future
Lacks capital to oppress the persisting.
Readings in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology