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‘say there was money but it rusted’ (live from Blackhawk Island)

By Stephanie Young

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I’m in the car with Chuck Stebelton, Mike Hauser, Robert J. Baumann and Alli Warren, on our way to visit Blackhawk Island and Lorine Niedecker’s cabin.

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It’s the last day of April. The water is high. I’m writing this on a phone. How does it sound. Birds. Birding from the car.

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Ruby-crowned kinglet, white pelican, cormorant, brown creeper, black cap Chickadee, great blue heron, American coot.

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Mud N Guts. Desolate Wisconsin lyric feelings. “Guy in New Jersey watches his couch float by,” Kevin Davies via Mike. Alli asks for the name of a common grocery store chain, ideally four syllables long, for later. “Piggly Wiggly bumps Young Turks.”

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The daffodils are out. The pelicans are back. Niedecker liked a drink called grasshopper. Cid Corman visited her here, I think I remember Chuck said. People like to imagine her walking along this road when she worked in town. It’s more social than you think. A working class resort.
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Rob says Anne Waldman and Lisa Jarnot lounged here. There’s a photo of them at Woodland Pattern. There’s a historical marker along the road. There’s an extension cord hanging from a tree, so many bird sounds, water in the air. There’s a happy red dog bounding towards us at the cemetery, and something I’ve not encountered before: “husband of.”

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Then it is May. A different sort of month altogether, month of mothers, day of the goddess of flowers and international workers, this basket gathered for you on a bus somewhere between Milwaukee and Madison, wishing the poets from each city could come along to the next.

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Thanks, Milwaukee, thanks Chuck and Kathy and Mike and Rob. Happy May Day.

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Posted in Featured Blogger on Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Stephanie Young.