Friday Reading

Hurricane Irene edition

By The Editors on 8.26.11

Will you be shut in tonight preparing for the hurricane? Don’t fear—there’s plenty of poetry to be had. (Not in Irene’s sights? You’re still welcome here).

Tonight, Matthew Dickman, whose second collection Mayakovsky’s Revolver will be published by Norton in 2012, reads with Matthew Zapruder as part of the Nothing Is Hidden reading series in San Francisco. The theme? Disaster Preparedness. The reading will be livestreamed starting at 10:30 EST. (via Poetry Foundation).

Alternatively, you can get ready with Ai‘s “The Strange Journey of Ulysses Paradeece After a Hurricane.”

from “The Strange Journey of Ulysses Paradeece After a Hurricane”

Lord have mercy, I’m still alive, I thought,
As I floated into the street beside the body of 
      someone familiar,
But I couldn’t quite make out who
Then it came to me. It was the nurse’s aide,
Now bloated and as dead as Mama Paradeece.
How long had I slept, I wondered,
Holding on to the life jacket,
As I bumped up against a tree whose branches 
      snagged my robe
And tore it off me,
But I held on to the life jacket anyway.
When I heard somebody call to me,
I couldn’t open my mouth
And I couldn’t let go of the tree either
So I just held on until it got stuck on something
And I broke free. 

You can find the whole poem in her book No Surrender.