Baffling combustions are everywhere!
At a house reading, listening to Stephen Rodefer read, I felt the back of the neck hairs
stand up straight, had to hold the bridge of my nose to keep the tears from coming. Absolutely stunning reading by a great poet—still, I was surprised by my reaction. I curate a series, hear lots of great readings, but am almost never moved to tears. The poetry wasn’t “sad”, although there were elements of sadness. Just, um, perfect.
My favorite short poem is by Ungaretti—various translations, the one I remember:
My next tattoo. Clay Blackburn, the protagonist of my novels, has it tattoo’d on his arm.
Occasionally some work of art brings on the “enormity” effect. Ilumines me. And then I have to excuse myself and leave the gallery/reading/concert. Experience a kind of exquisite devastation. I’m always baffled/embarrassed when it happens—I’m not the type to make scenes. But I’m grateful for it—release, epiphany, deep connection—whatever the hell it is.