Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't Miss The Cupboard Artist!

Molly Tenenbaum gave a terrific reading on Tuesday night at our favorite book store, Open Books: A Poem Emporium. Thanks to Holly Hughes for the photos:

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just to Tempt You--

Hope you can make Molly Tenenbaum's reading at 7:30 on Tuesday night, January 26, 2012 at Open Books: A Poem Emporium.

Nobody writes quite like Molly. She is entirely herself and completely indispensable. A master of the sensual.

Ode to the Ugly Colors

Hairball beige, rust that spots
every single snapdragon,
mustard of 70s telephones, she swore
she never would wear these, and why
grownups did, who could guess, when they could put on
all the pink they wanted.
At ten, she claimed brown
her favorite color, but only
("brown's not a color") to shock little yellows and reds—

or maybe she'd seen maroon velvet, even then, felt the blush of cocoa powder.

Iris, iridescent, you were lovely, color the crescent moon
might flash if she fluttered a wing,
glimpse of her aunt Eva's silk sheath, shadow
the black-haired girls
caked on in the junior high bathroom
and came out looking, the principal said,
like sluts, but she loved
their necklines of peacock acrylic, their idea
of brushing blue anywhere.

Sings to you now, blotchy green, underside
of a sunflower leaf that will be completely dead tomorrow.
Sings to you, burnt buttermilk, tabletop clotted with cup-rings.
Sings to you, gray, porous linoleum tracked with wet weather.
And to you, white glare, all a cataract sees.

She wears green of cow-dung, tan of an old dry gourd.

Color of mildew, of grated potatoes.
Color of grunt, harrumph, and husk.
The old lips of yogurt, the lost cottage cheese.
Scrape and caw, a dinged aluminum pot.
The granite color of collar bands.
The chicken-fat color of sleep-scum.
Mud of her eyes.

Ugly colors, she sings, you have
the most beautiful names.
Dove-gray, olive, dusky rose.
Murrey, claret, bloodstain, myrtle.
Mauve, russet, mahogany, buff.
Sallow, ginger, pockmarked nacre.
Birchbark, mica, sandstone, moss.

You are soft as the cotton sheet in the mending basket.

You are the damp cloth
fever heats through every five minutes.

When you wrap around a person, when she pulls
you tighter, heavy weight of wool in winter,
she feels a tug

in her heart—
cuticle detaching, claw caught in a sweater.
Unsealing of a leaf before it falls.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Floating Bridge Press publishes Molly Tenenbaum's new collection, The Cupboard Artist

The editors of Floating Bridge Press are delighted to announce the publication of Molly Tenenbaum's third full-length collection of poems, The Cupboard Artist.

Molly will be giving her inaugural reading at Seattle's favorite (and the west's only) poetry bookstore, Open Books: A Poem Emporium on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:30 pm.

In Molly Tenenbaum’s The Cupboard Artist we get mauve and jet and puce and garnet, bronze gold thread, and flame. We get caterpillar yarn, chocolate suede, clotted malt, and firefall velvet dresses and blue aromas of pine. We get braids of burlap and rose brown grass and wedges and spindles and trusses and tweezers and peppercorn cheese. In short, we get every color, texture, taste and almost-fingertip-touched longing, in this keenly noticed collision of the inner and outer life, this erotic, musical, painterly, reflective and seriously joyous book. I love every page of it.
--Christopher Howell

These densely imagistic poems are no stream of consciousness, but instead a stream of conflicting desires. Molly Tenenbaum presents us with food and flesh and the hunger that comes from wanting them even as you hold them in your hands—in such a richly populated world of things, she gives us true longing. While the possibilities are endless—say this, say that, "Say he never came back. Would you still / love to be alone?"—the woman, that held-at-a-distance "her," that these poems turn their gaze on can't decide how to embrace the incompletion of desire. And so we join her in the pleasures of hunger, like the bees, “confused, so much air / between them and the flowers."
--Keetje Kuipers

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