Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Moment with Stan Rice

I've loved Stan Rice's poetry since first picking up Singing Yet: New and Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992) at Powell's Books in Portland. His death in 2002 from brain cancer shocked me.

I suspect that the lack of serious critical attention given to Rice's poetry has been a function of jealousy within the poetry world over the literary and commercial success of Stan's wife, the writer Anne Rice.

What a pitiful lot we are!

Stan Rice was also an accomplished painter, and his paintings often grace the covers of his books.

Here's a poem from The Radiance of Pigs (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999):


I walk 5th Ave
Seeking angels
In their pure being.
But there are so many people.
All seem like extras.
So I come home, sad
And out of Anne's hair
"Go find what makes you happy,"
She'd said. So I went
Looking for angels.
I found only one. In the elevator.
Her profile was alabaster.
Her hair was gold, then gone
Three floors above me.
My cigar smoke in the corner of my eye just scared me.
I thought it was someone coming
Toward me.


Blogger Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I like this poem. So direct and real. Greg, you make a valid point, I think, about the literary community's stance against Rice. Thanks for the post.

11:57 AM  

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