Sunday, November 29, 2009

Feature: Michael Henson Day 1

I was very honored to be one of the featured readers at Lix and Kix, Nov 17th, with our next feature, Michael Henson. His feature was a treat to observe and learn from. I enjoyed hearing him read very much and now we are honored to be able to feature him here on *Mnemosyne* this week. Enjoy!

--- Jen

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Photo (taken by Dianne Borsenik) of Michael Henson featured reader at Lix and Kix, Nov 17th 2009


Michael Henson is author of Crow Call, an extended elegy for his friend, the murdered homeless activist Buddy Gray. He also has a novel, a book of stories, and a chapbook of poems. His column, "Hammered: Essays on Poverty and Addiction," appears regularly in StreetVibes, the newspaper of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. He is a member of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Elissa Pogue.

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First hints:
A red haze among the maples.
A great clutter of branches thrown down by a storm.
A row of daffodils that raise their baffled heads
out of the cold beds of the garden.
The light,
stretched back by the black fingers
of the trees at the horizon,
stretched back by the rooftops
at the head of the alley,
ekes out the lingering days.
The winter rains become the spring rains,
cold and persistent.
The rivers rise to their banks;
they darken with silt.
They boil coldly
in their drive to the Gulf
bearing downstream anything loose in their path.
Then, a day that ignites
green fires at the tips of the sycamores.
A day when the earth shimmers
with a dim mammalian pulse.
After the million deaths of winter,
partisan births,
clandestine cadres,
in tens and twelves,
here, and here, and in the hedges.
Everything swells.
Everything grows more numerous.
New hungers arise,
some small as the belly of a vole,
some neatly small as thought.
Others large as a field of wheat.
Still others larger than we dare name.
Everywhere the hungers assert themselves.
They stretch among the root hairs in the compost.
They call from the nests tucked in the branches of the cedars.
They quiver on the dark floor of every pond.
They weep themselves known in the houses of the poor.

© Michael Henson (You can find a video of Michael reading "Spring" (mis-titled as "First Tense") posted by John Burroughs on his Crisis Chronicles Library.)


  1. Excellent!

    And thanks for the link to Crisis Chronicles. I apologize for the poor sound quality on the video. Before Michael read that night, I'd run out of either memory or battery on my JVC video camera - so I had to resort to using my Kodak EasyShare (which I usually use for still photos but had never before used for video) to capture his performance. The mic on the Kodak couldn't handle me being so close to the loudspeaker. Fortunately, I got a much better quality video with the JVC when Michael returned to Cleveland for Lix and Kix this month. I'm gonna try to get that online soon.

  2. Henson really impressed me when he read a Lix and Kix two weeks ago-- one hell of a poet!