Nolwenn Leroy's new record, "The Cheshire Cat et Moi" is number one on I-Tunes France this week. And I have three songs on the I-tunes version of the record. Kind of cool! Of course, I can't seem to figure out a way to download it from the US I-tunes site. but I suppose I can wait to have the full REAL physical version in hand. Felicitations!!
In other news. I am still obsessing over Mary Karr. It's so rare to find writing that you can't bear to put down. I even trying to read slower so it won't end. Astonishing, visceral, and familiar.
Today I've been reading an essay she wrote at the end of her poetry book - "Sinners Welcome." Poetry was her only real religion until she became an unlikely Catholic in the middle of her search for sobriety.
How did she know? How did she possibly figure out how to SAY this??
"From a very early age, when I read a poem, it was as if the poet's burning taper touched some charred filament in my chest to light me up. The transformation could extend from me outward. Lifting my face from the page, I often faced my fellow creatures with less dread. Maybe buried in one of them was an ache or tenderness similar to the one I'd just been warmed by. Thus poetry rarely failed to create for me some semblance of community, even if the poet reaching me was some poor wretch even more abject than myself....."
"In the Texas oil town where I grew up, I was an unfashionably bookish kid whose brain wattage was sapped by a consuming inner life others just didn't seem to bear the burden of. In a milieu where fierceness won fights, I was thin-skinned and hyper-vigilant., I just had more frames per second than other kids."
Language, wordplay, religion, poetry held equal sway in my upbringing. My family was sober, (perhaps not in a healthy way)...but I shared this reverence, the feeling that poetry, hymns, music, precise language could redeem and elevate us to its own kind of faith. To a kind of comfort in the face of the inexplicable.
Later in the essay, Karr quotes Franz Wright's poem "Request:"
Please love me
and I will play for you
upon a guitar I made
out of cardboard and black threads
when I was ten years old.
Love me or else.
Here is my church. Here is the steeple, open the door.....