“…What I wanted to do was to destroy the idea of the American family drama. It’s too psychological. Because this and that happened, you wet the bed? Who cares? Who cares when there’s a dead baby in the backyard?” – Sam Shepard, 1943-2017
He never stopped experimenting, he was rigorous and relentless in his pursuit of multiple crafts, he read widely, he played by his own rules, and he didn’t give a fuck about what was “in vogue.” I can’t tell you how much I’ve been exhilarated and encouraged by that over the years. Goodbye to one of our greats.
INTERVIEWER: So what was this new form?
COLLINS: The paradelle, which is like a fusion of parody and villanelle. The rules were an absurd mix of the dead easy and the nearly impossible. [...]
In the poem itself, the incompetent poet whose role I was playing — we should italicize playing — was able to repeat lines—bravo!—but could not manage to recycle all the words, so every stanza ended with a pile-up of remainder words, leftovers. Like, “And find the time, cross my shore, to with it is to.”
I sent the poem to The American Scholar. I knew the editor, Joseph Epstein, had a sense of literary humor. They published the poem and that, I assumed, was that, until Epstein wrote to tell me about the mail they were getting. Subscribers were sending angry letters questioning the magazine’s judgment for having published such a slovenly poem. How could the journal of the Phi Beta Kappa Society endorse such literary incompetence? One person said it was the worst paradelle he’d ever read. No kidding.
Epstein invited me to respond to a typical letter. I didn’t want to fess up and spoil all the fun, so I wrote a letter that asked for sympathy. The paradelle is an extremely difficult form, my defense ran. I did the best that I could. Then I began hearing rumors that the paradelle was being assigned as a workshop exercise. And now a young professor in Georgia is working on an anthology of paradelles! I agreed to write an introduction titled “A Brief History of the Paradelle” accounting for the disappearance of all the paradelles written between 1200 and 1998. My ultimate dream is to see the term paradelle in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, but I’ve probably just blown my chances by taking you backstage.
- The Paris Review, No. 83
…That Looks Out Onto Port Authority For The Best People Watching In The City. a.k.a Virginia Woolf Meets MTC-Mini-Playwright-Residency.
When the answer to “Where are you?” is “Drinking rosé at 2:30 pm on a Thursday, why, where are you?”
Some work from Ted Lawson. His sculpture “Eve”:
Ted Lawson sculpture – cast resin, 2011
And his painting “Ghost in the Machine”:
In the media description for “Ghost in the Machine” it says “blood on paper.” If you’re wondering how “blood on paper” can be a media, this is how:
When your person makes you a lunch that is the same color palette as your work…
Two poems from her collection Incorrect Merciful Impulses:
Sheltering from 93 degrees and a subway that smells like the inside of a lizard. It’s always so good to come home.