At 7 PM on Friday February 8 Alice Friman will read at the Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston for the Poetry Society of South Carolina.
The poem below was my knock-you-back introduction to Alice.
[from The Gettysburg Review, Summer 2004]
Life isn't long enough
to learn the patience necessary.
Pitted against desire, what's so hot about
counting to ten? Think salmon — the fight,
the desperate fling
against the bear's
swipe and the knock-you-back water.
In the face of need, let's face it,
patience is luxury. Even Beauty,
sensible, yes, but come first thaw
she too is cruising for the hook.
No lure, no worm, no hand-tied fly
but whooped up already, ready to thrash
gasping in the bilge of any boat.
one polished line, one invitation into
the tangoed dark, and there it is — the red
slam-dunk of the heart, that timpani
in the chest counting out
the clarinet's twiddle and each thin
thought of the violin, wanting only
the great drama it was tightened up for.
The big BIM BAM.
Listen, the heart
wants what it wants. There's no telling
it different. Look out the window.
The curtain rises, and stage left — see?
Spring enters singing forsythia, that aria
of yellow, that operatic bush.