Monday, April 13, 2009

Poetry 13: Lance Larsen

Lance is someone I hope to study with when (if!) I do an MFA at BYU. I'm including this poem because it's the one I chose to "imitate" for my assignment. But I think I'll include another of Lance's a little later this month because, although I think this poem is delightful, I don't think it's representative of Lance's amazing ability.

I hate not being able to reproduce the whole thing. But, alas, I am trying to be honest in all my dealings (and not violate copyright laws). So here are some excerpts

from "Outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art"
by Lance Larsen

So why did the pretzel vendor tender me a discount?
Was it because I asked how much before

fishing out my wallet? . . .

Or did he pity me, my salt-and-pepper tweed
more retro Idaho than retro Soho?

. . . Buck fifty, he said,
looking straight at my shaggy moustache,

a twin of his only redder. Then to the next guy,
Two dollars. Ah, to be chosen by a ruddy pretzel man.

OK, I feel terrible about this. Because I've only left out about two stanzas, and it's such a tight, perfect little poem. Nevertheless, there it shall stand. If you're dying to read it all, check out his book, In All Their Animal Brilliance, which is a fantastic book and worth owning.


William Morris said...

That's the problem with short poems -- the temptation to post them is so great.

Here's where you can purchase: In All Their Animal Brilliance, which was published in 2005 by Univ. of Tampa Press.

Tyler said...

I've been reading a lot of Larsen lately. (Wow, that sentence was very alliterative.) In fact, some might say he's my newest poet crush. I read In All Their Animal Brilliance and then bought Erasable Walls, his first book, because Animal impressed me so much. And right now I'm making my way, savory line by savory line, through his latest collection, Backyard Alchemy, which I bought straight from the publisher 1) because Amazon doesn't have any yet and 2) because I had to have

Anyway, Larsen's a great poet, one of contemporary Mormon letters' best, I think, though there are quite a few youngsters out there rising through the ranks.

Th. said...


What? BYU has an MFA now?

Darlene said...

Yes, they have an MFA now. They haven't made an official announcement, and you can't find it on their website, but it exists. Want to join me there?