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Ron Padgett

Ron Padgett
Ron Padgett
Photo by Ulla Montan
April 5, 2001 -- Ron Padgett, originally from Tulsa, more recently of New York City, is a writer and a teacher. He is the author of many books about teaching literature and writing and of poetry, including Great Balls of Fire, The Big Something and Triangles In the Afternoon. He has also written several translations, including books by Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, and Marcel Duchamp. As a teenager in Tulsa, he started and edited the White Dove Review. Contributors to the Review included Robert Creeley, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

audio Hear poet Ron Padgett on All Things Considered.


Nothing in That Drawer

Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.

from Great Balls of Fire (Coffee House Press, 1990)

The Drink

I am always interested in the people in films who have just had a drink thrown in their faces. Sometimes they react with uncontrollable rage, but sometimes-my favorites-they do not change their expressions at all. Instead they raise a handkerchief or napkin and calmly dab at the offending liquid, as the hurler jumps to her feet and storms away. The other people at the table are understandably uncomfortable. A woman leans over and places her hand on the sleeve of the man's jacket and says, "David, you know she didn't mean it." David answers, "Yes," but in an ambiguous tone-the perfect adult response. But now the orchestra has resumed its amiable and lively dance music, and the room is set in motion as before. Out in the parking lot, however, Elizabeth is setting fire to David's car. Yes, this is a contemporary film.

from You Never Know (Coffee House Press, forthcoming 2002)

Fixation

It's not that hard to climb up
on a cross and have nails driven
into your hands and feet.
Of course it would hurt, but
if your mind were strong enough
you wouldn't notice. You
would notice how much farther
you can see up here, how
there's even a breeze
that cools your leaking blood.
The hills with olive groves fold in
to other hills with roads and huts,
flocks of sheep on a distant rise.

from You Never Know (Coffee House Press, forthcoming 2002)



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