187.1: Rebecca Foust:: The Market & Bar Method Class & Spin Class & Your Mind is a Puppy & Mr. and Mrs. Greed Bicker in Public 187

I have a guilty pleasure. Other poets should share this with me. There is a podcast in Santa Cruz, hosted by Dennis Morton, and it is all things poetry for the show’s length (an hour or so). I have listened to every episode, then and now. The interviews with Robert Bly and August Kleinzahler are wonderful. However, there are other, more special moments when Dennis abstains from authors and features and instead reads poems that he just happens to love. Many of these poems were narratively remarkable, stunning, and, sometimes, obscure and wild. After a period of binging through his podcasts, I remembered Morton’s frequent love for poems by Rebecca Foust. It is my pleasure to introduce Foust for today's feature and to talk with her further in Wednesday's interview. I feel that the work and her ideas on poetry speak for themselves. Her latest book, Paradise Drive, is a splendid negotiation and achievement with the sonnet. Experimental but true to the form. Hilarious and wild in the collection’s revelations. Cody Todd

The Market


       1. GREED Explains Float

OK, so Dow Jones jumps without
a parachute from Wall Street’s corporate jet,
and we’re marooned here now, left
giving last rites to a market bereft
of its Spiritus Mundi. The plan was
to get-rich-quick-and-get-out, and I still can’t
believe it did not trickle down, even one drop.
Or that all the options and futures would not,
like the universe, keep expanding pi more years,
or the banks fade so fast, the dollar-bill whores
dialing the Feds before bolting the doors.
They’ve called all the bets on the bets. Listen—
the whole-world balloon is about to deflate
—and those aren’t only mortgages hissing.

       2. Clogs for Adidas

The Marin Man is manly, no doubt
about that. He works and plays hard;
he likes womanly women.
Right. Marin Man. Manly. Fit
does not begin to describe it.
This guy can run, bike, hike Mt. Tam
and swim the frigid bay,
all in a day’s triathlon. And when
he’s at ease? Mr. Dad, three shiny kids
and two bird dogs in tow.
He and his kind trade futures no one else
can divine. Lately, he’s traded
his clogs for a new pair of Adidas—
traction against those pesky subpoenas.




Bar Method Class


The first thing you notice is the uniform
she’s just about gotten down. It begins
with the hair: highlights and lowlights, a gloss
that will set you back 45 bucks and then last
through at least three shampoos. The bra-top,
cut to allow full range-of-motion for the, like,
5000 hammer curls. Pert glutes (“Bar Butts”)
encased in cotton spandex, not too bright
in hue, you know, tasteful. A diamond stud
in each ear, nowhere else. The absence of visible
aging. Crap, she needs a class for this class,
and a separate budget! Even the mom of three kids
has a wasp-waist and brace of perfect breasts.
And a man’s watch wraps her pretty left wrist.




Spin Class


When she gets depressed or a case
of the Deadlies, she seeks the cure:
pure sweat, a second class
with the Mistress of Spin. More
on a really bad day. Each noon, she slings
hot dogs at St. Vincent de Paul
to correct her perspective on things;
old and fat, after all,
not as bad as old-and-fat
-while-addicted-to-morphine
used-syringed into any vein left.
“Bereft” is a relative term. Something
about improving attitude. Some kind
of confusion: being good with—well—loved.




Your Mind is a Puppy


The view is worse than you might think:
my overwhelmed umbilicus
seeming, somehow, almost to wink
as I deeply inhale. The voice
of the teacher: Your mind is like a way-
ward puppy; your job is to guide it back.
Be patient, but firm
. A puppy? Okay,
Why not? I wonder—how would it look
—pierced? By a bar with a ball at each end
or, maybe a diamond stud solitaire,
yes, that would be, well, you know, more
classy . . . Oops. Right. My mind
is wayward, a puppy, bring it back. Sure.
(But who will clean up the mess on the floor?)




Mr. and Mrs. Greed Bicker in Public


“We’re a bad combo, your Greed and my Sloth,
both of us paralyzed by desire,
your unbridled need to grab more and more
of all-that’s-possible, my bored-to-death
by what that means for me: a whole lot
of moving around. Just look at our son!
The worst of us both, he thirsts, within an
arm’s reach of his brimming bottle. Whose bright
idea wed starving with stuck? And just my luck
to get you and not Lust. Lust at least
would let me lie down. What? You want the last
slice of melon? The last drop from the grail?
Fine. Just don’t make me more work.
Drink up. Eat. Eat it, end-rind, and all.”