Did you know that Evian spelled backwards is naive? I myself was unaware of this fact until last Tuesday night when John Ashbery, Marc Cohen, and Eugene Richie gave a poetry reading and I introduced them to an audience that already knew them, and there were bottles of Evian at the table. As air to the lungs of a drowning man was a glass of this water to my dry lips. I recommend it to you, a lover of palindromes, who will also be glad to learn that JA read us three "chapters" of his new poem, "Girls on the Run," a twelve- part saga inspired by girls' adventure stories, with characters named Dimples and Tidbit plus Talkative and Hopeful on loan from "Pilgrim's Progress." As Frank O'Hara would have said, "it's the nuts."
The poets' books were on sale and afterwards two of the poets signed theirs happily and the third did so willingly and Joe took photos and I smiled for the camera, shaking hands with people I knew or didn't know and thinking how blessed was the state of naivete my naive belief in the glory of the word