It certainly would have been great, during my visit to the Bay, to catch up with poet-essayist-fine coffee brewer Robin Tremblay-McGaw. But our paths didn't cross. Blame capitalism. More specifically, Right to Work (not write to work) laws like those being forced down the gullets of working people in the midwest right now. Work getting in the way. No matter how much one enjoys one's job (a rarity, but I suspect we both do), it still sucks that our lives become so truncated and often desperate... Anyway...Then, oh, yesterday I believe, I wake up to see Robin's written a mini-exegesis on Occultations, quoted from it, and overall had some deeply giving and insightful things to say (again, the question of writing publicly thru doubt, and in common, comes up--writing under constant, common yet also commonly illusory pressures--the forms that make our bodies legible as such, and conversely, and that shape, then, the form our conversations take, and conversely...).
I'm touched by Robin's gesture--a public, extimate "missing" of a friend. And yet I'm not surprised. Robin is in a constant state, it seems to me (at least within the circumstances of our friendship, teaching at Bard College L&T together and us responding to one another via blog, email, etc.) of giving her energies over to others in ways that call up for me the term "care." She's looked after me quite a bit at Bard (I'm comparatively a mess, of course), me hearing the constant and important friendly refrain: "how many coffees HAVE you had today?" She's got a calming presence, one that draws folks together. And then puncturing them with her exciting poetry and prose during readings. Carrot and stick, eh?! This calm giving comes thru in her really wonderful close readings and honest attention to peers' work, or to readings by folks who blow thru town and that she's managed to catch. At SPT. At 21 Grand. Wherever. XPoetics being one of the blogs I go to for close, careful readings that also revel in their own subjectivity, the results often startling, encouraging us, for instance, to go back to familiar texts and re-create them, let them dance with McGaw's wreading. Which, by the way, she outlines rather beautifully over at Bard L&T's new blog, a fantastic post about cross-wiring of reading-writing, the altered state one enters when writing thru X rather than simply and only talking about X, etc, hooking these suggestive ideas up to non-normative notions of community. Anyway, the blog does its thing, like Robin, without pomp, without banging around. I hope very much to see her next time we're in the same town. Meanwhile, I thank her for the shout-out!