This past Thursday, I attended another one of Poetry at Tech's readings. There were three different poets reading, and my personal favorite was Robert Wrigley. His sense of humor was immediately obvious, and as he delved into his first poem, his performance reminded me in a way of spoken word poetry--his strong voice held the listeners captive, and the audience was laughing right along with Wrigley's use of dry humor, despite the mingling of serious poetic content. After reading a poem or two, Wrigley explained that the title of his new book, Anatomy of Melancholy and Other Poems, was borrowed from a book of the same title by Robert Burton, and while Wrigley read his title poem, I read along in the book of his that I had picked up. What I found while I was reading along was that even though Wrigley was reading from his book, some bits of the poem were not verbatim what he had written. It almost seemed like he was improvising a little bit, as though what he was feeling in the moment was more important than the exact words that were on the page.
Having now read his new book in its entirety, my other favorite poems of his include Dada Doodads, For I Will Consider My Cat Lenore, and Delicious. Especially the latter. It took me to a magical place, which, I think, might have been the intent all along.