Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Khaled Mattawa reading in Ferndale this Friday

Poet Khaled Mattawa will be reading in Ferndale on Friday with fellow poet George Tysh. Since that's in my neck of the woods and all I am planning on going. You should, too. Khaled's got a new book out, Tocqueville, published by New Issues/Western Michigan University Press.

The reading is Friday, June 18, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at the Societry of San Jordi (Chez Elie) (407 West Marshall, Ferndale, MI 48220). I will see you there.

His poem "Ecclesiastes," which is from his new book, appeared recently on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily.


The trick is that you're willing to help them.
The rule is to sound like you're doing them a favor.

The rule is to create a commission system.
The trick is to get their number.

The trick is to make it personal:
No one in the world suffers like you.

The trick is that you're providing a service.
The rule is to keep the conversation going.

The rule is their parents were foolish,
their children are greedy or insane.

The rule is to make them feel they've come too late.
The trick is that you're willing to make exceptions.

The rule is to assume their parents abused them.
The trick is to sound like the one teacher they loved.

And when they say "too much,"
give them a plan.

And when they say "anger" or "rage" or "love,"
say "give me an example."

The rule is everyone is a gypsy now.
Everyone is searching for his tribe.

The rule is you don't care if they ever find it.
The trick is that they feel they can.

(Khaled Mattawa, from Tocqueville, 2010 New Issues/Western Michigan University Press)

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