July 31, 2011

A New Favorite–Adam Robinson

Okay I found this guy’s book of poems– Adam Robison and Other Poems poems by Adam Robinson– in Marfa (no, I didn’t get the spelling wrong here) and as Cindy will tell you, I have not yet stopped laughing about things found in it. Here’s one with a sound that kills me:

Steve Reich Hears a Pentecostal Preacher

it’s gonna rain hew
it’s gonna rain hew
it’s gonna rain hew
it’s gonna rain hew
it’s gon rain hew
it’s gon rain hew
it’s gon rain hew
it’s gon rain hew
it’s gon fwip
hitsit’s gon fwip
hitsit’s gon fwip
it’s gon fwip
it’s gon hitsfwip
it’s it’s heep
if heep it’s heep
if heep it’s rain
heeit’s rain heeit’s rain
rain h rain h rain h raib
sgon! ifraib sgon! ifraig sgon!
raigsgon sgon sgon rai
sgon r sgon ra sgon r sgon rai
it’s g fwip
it’s g fwip
ifsy g fwip
he rain
he rain fwip
herain
herain

Not all of the poems are like this one, but risk abounds throughout. He’s a person who realizes that sometimes the only way to make a poem is to kick the shit out of it, and then sort of prop it up there and step away.

comments

  1. Rick Neece on July 31st, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    The sounds of preachers I’ve known in my life Daryl.

  2. Rick Neece on July 31st, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I grew up freewill baptist. One step this side of pentecostal.

  3. Daryl Scroggins on July 31st, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Rick–yes, I knew you would be able to hear this! My parents weren’t pentecostal either, but we got close enough to it to know that a whole lot of shouting goes on in some churches. I’m talking the God-puppet jerk-at-praise-outta-me approach. Slain, as it were. Had an uncle who reduced the whole spectacle to something that looked like a build-up to a sneeze.

  4. Carole Corlew on July 31st, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    You know Alabama is in that mix. Old-timey Church of Christ preachers were sedate compared to Penecostal Holiness. I did a good bit of visiting when I was growing up. It scared me to death, thrillingly. I remember the summer swelter, a bare lightbulb on a long cord, speaking in tongues. Sweat-soaked shirts, thrashing, a man marking a blonde toddler’s head with “holy oil.” I held myself perfectly still, head bowed, hands clenched, watching. “Get me out of this,” I prayed. But the next day, I ran for the neighbor’s car. From sighs, disapproval, disappointment, from undone and unsaid. Toward the too blistering too much.

  5. Daryl Scroggins on August 1st, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Carole–this is a perfect description of such an atmosphere. As I remember it, one of the most frightening things about such gatherings was the utter sincerity of the zombie madness of it all. It was one of those “this is the way we always done it” places that faintly called to mind Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”