POUSSON: Once, while a Pulitzer-prize winning poet in a bolo tie finished reading his new translation of a beloved children’s story, his voice a murmur of disdain for the page, my eye sought entertainment elsewhere. Nearby, a blue-veined breast nudged its way out of a tight bodice as the breast-owner nudged forward in her chair, one hand gripping the seat, the other shaking the air around it, ready to launch a question before the poet suffered his applause. In fact, she didn’t wait for the mic before shouting at the stage, “But you hate the book!” The poet pushed his finger to his owl-eyed glasses, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, then, looking straight at her breast, declared, “Yes.” She considered the word before pushing back, “Why translate a book you hate?” The poet, this time licking his lips, said, “My dear, poets must eat too.” With that, he raised the bolo tie to his lips, took the tip into his mouth, and bolted off the stage.
MARTIN POUSSON was born and raised in Acadiana, in the bayouland of Louisiana. His first novel, No Place, Louisiana, was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Award. His first book of poems, Sugar, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His short stories have been published in Epoch, StoryQuarterly, Parnassus, Rattling Wall, Cimarron Review, New Orleans Review, and in Oxford Journals. He teaches at California State University, Northridge and is at work on a new collection of stories called The Nerves.
Come see Martin read at 826LA in Echo Park on Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm.