C.K. Williams, “Wasp”


Hammer, hammer, hammer, the wasp
has been banging his head on the window for hours;
you’d think by now he’d be brain-dead, but no,
he flings himself at the pane: hammer, hammer again.

I ease around him to open the sash, hoping
he doesn’t sting me because then I’d be sorry
I didn’t kill him, but he pays me no mind:
it’s still fling, hammer, fling, hammer again.

I’m sure his brain’s safe, his bones are outside,
but up there mine are, too, so why does it hurt
so much to keep thinking—hammer, hammer—
the same things again and, hammer, again?

That invisible barrier between you and the world,
between you and your truth… Stinger blunted,
wings frayed, only the battering, battered brain,
only the hammer, hammer, hammer again.

C.K. Williams will be reading from his latest collection, Wait, tonight at the Free Library in Philadelphia. Other poems in this book include “We” (published in Slate), “Dust” (The New Yorker), “I Hate,” and “Zebra” (both from Poetry).

Then there’s “Rats,” which Williams recited for a Big Think interview, after sharing his thoughts about global warming and the Bush administration…


27 April 2010 | poetry |

Greenlight Bookstore: Sarah Pekkanen & StackedBlog.com


I’ve been curating a series of events at Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore for the last few months, where we start out with an author reading from his or her latest book, then segue into a conversation with a local blogger about the book and its themes, and about writing and life and the writing life, then open it up to the audience for questions. Tonight, I’m looking forward to introducing Sarah Pekkanen, who will be reading from her debut novel, The Opposite of Me, and Christina Oppold, the creator of Stacked, one of the best in a recent wave of new book blogs. If you’re a fan of contemporary women’s fiction, I think you’ll really enjoy this evening—and if you’re a fan of indie bookstores, you’re going to love Greenlight if you’ve never been there before.

(One of my favorite things about this series is that I’m getting to work with a fantastic array of bloggers, and not all of them focused strictly on the book world, as you’ll see in the months ahead…)

26 April 2010 | events |

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