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‘That Laurie MacFayden, she’s a howler’

KKUA cover FINALLovely review of Kissing Keeps Us Afloat from Michael Dennis over at Today’s Book of Poetry.

And when I say lovely, I mean fan-fucking-tastic.

Some highlights:

kissing keeps us afloat is a sustained torrent, a laughing rush, a relentless scream/yodel of passion. This red boat has no oars as it crashes against the shores of love, breaks up on the rocks called desire.

Fearless, charismatic, funny, elegant, eloquent and frequently so horny you’d think the sky was falling before her final possible hump. Laurie MacFayden has done something wonderful in the dazzling kissing keeps us afloat.

And we love, love, love the joyous title. Around the office it won the poll for best title this spring.

This collection is a “page-turner.” You really can’t wait to hear what MacFayden is going to burn up and turn red next.

(A poetry page-turner? Blush.)

What MacFayden has done over the course of kissing keeps us afloat is to romp ribald, I mean Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Erica Jong rutting – and like those excellent writers, reach so much more of the reader than simple erotica ever could. In these poems love does not always win, passion is not always requited. That’s not the point. It is the celebrations, the joy you remember that gets you through the dark. The promise of joy that brings us to the threshold of another dawn.

All that jazz and more is in the keen, crisp kissing keeps us afloat.

That Laurie MacFayden, she’s a howler. An Allen Ginsberg howler, celebrating hope and hard love.

(Takes one to know one, methinks, MD)

Today’s book of poetry thinks MacFayden’s kissing keeps us afloat steps up and delivers big time. Love isn’t all sweetness and light, she knows everything.

You can read the full gorgeous love letter here.

(Michael Dennis, can I offer you a ride in my red boat?)

12 words

her holy hands scorch me
that effervescent grin
the laugh that went into the candle wax
those splashing eyes
her fingers a myriad of vowels, of consonants
that eclectic thing she does when she breathes me in
her winsome writing dress
introspection is where she stepped onto the bus
murmuration is where she got off
our trinity involves flannel, soft grass, omelettes
i made her mulligatawny soup for breakfast
she sang vespers for me in the bath

this love affair

Needs a new identity
Needs a disguise
Needs a walk around the block
Should start wearing dark glasses,
An overcoat

This love affair can’t get the coffee the way I like it
Doesn’t quite go with the drapes
Might want to consider
A smaller place
Witness protection

This love affair is no 5-star hotel
But it looks you in the eye
It is not limousines and glitter
More pop rocks and bass trombone
This love affair needs a lot more salt
Kitchen reno, seriously
Complete overhaul

This love affair could use a vacation
Wants a timeshare in Barcelona
Thinks a stroll on the beach will cure everything
This love affair changes its flame
Whispers her name
Catches the next train
Dances in the cliched rain

This love affair licked its lips
Sank midnight ships
Crashed the car
Swam too far
Gasped for air
Laid it bare
This love affair
Smells like burnt hair
Refused to paint the town
Almost let me drown

This love affair
Stung like a million bees
Brought me to my knees
Started dressing better
Sent the scarlet letter

Got an A in penmanship

red crush

this is the red crush of me against you against the grain pressing thigh inside thigh pressing red into red pressing speckled flecks into formica the chrome cachet
of decades-old kitchen décor

when they met i mean when we met i was wearing red and slightly drunk
the wine was red, deep purple and solid a good cherry or was it cheery vintage (someone tried to get me to drink it from a box but you have to draw the line somewhere) when we met i was wearing a red vest that i feared was too revealing but people do quite often tell me damn that looks so hot and good on you

the red vest was a little bit cowboy / oh and don’t let me forget the red shoes everyone knows the power of red shoes you simply can’t explain it heaven help you if you disregard the power of red shoes

i was wearing the red vest and red shoes and probably dark trousers with a blue striped shirt and you: you were wearing not red. you were wearing the un red you were standing in a corner near the food and you were laughing and gulping wine and someone said you two should meet so we were introduced, me in my red vest and my shoes and you spilling your red red wine and waving a carrot stick in your other hand waving and mad mad raving about that artichoke asiago dip that is so good served just the right kind of warm

you spilled many things that night but what i most keenly recall is how your laughing eyes slipped clean under my red red vest how the sheer crimson joy of you spilled deep inside my bashful chest and made a perfectly splendid mess of my heart.

Get your lust on

This ain’t no namby-pamby cinnamon hearts & chocolate flowers couples fest.
This is Gypsy Valentine, an afternoon of smokin’ hot verse and bohemian music
at Leva Cafe on Sunday, Feb. 13.

Edmonton poets Mandie Lopatka, Kelly Shepherd and Amy Willans and I
will start the fire, accompanied by the smouldering violin of Karen Donaldson Shepherd and the Mediterranean stylings of Greek/jazz guitarist George Koufogiannakis.

In honour of our hot-blooded theme, the fine folks at Leva have created a food+drink special for the occasion: two 3-ounce glasses of house red wine combined with their fabulous artichoke/pesto pizza for $20.

My poetry book White Shirt ($16) and Kelly’s chapbooks the bony world ($10)
and Circumambulations will be available for purchase.

What: A caravan of steamy words and sexy rhythms
guaranteed to get your heart pounding.
When:
Sunday, February 13, 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Leva Café, 11053 86 Ave. (Garneau neighbourhood)
Why:
To drive the cold winter away; or as Stephen Berg so nicely puts it on his own blog, Grow Mercy, to “put the red back into your blood.”

About the Poets

Mandie Lopatka: For God so loved the world that She tossed equal parts Marilyn Monroe, Aretha Franklin, Loretta Lynn and Amy Winehouse into a martini shaker, jigged until Her Holy Hips were out of joint, and poured The Divine Miss M-Lo into the world’s most elegant cocktail glass. Johnny Cash could have used a friend like her.

Kelly Shepherd: The Clark Kent of E-town poetics. Underneath the mild-mannered reserve beats the heart of a spoken-word warrior. Master of the slow burn.
If a leaf falls in the forest, he hears it. Knows where to find the key that unlocks the door that frees the baby bird that’s been caged inside your chest since the beginning of time.

Amy Willans: Knows what it means to miss New Orleans. Shows you where to look among the bourbon and burnt sugar. Inventor of skin, bone, the colour red, piercing blue, black ice, white lightning and magnolias. Wrote the User’s Manual & Maintenance Guide for A Streetcar Named Desire.

Laurie MacFayden: Has a thing about red shoes, white shirts and cheekbones.

Gypsy Valentine: Not for the faint of heart.