March 27, 2009

Dave Berman (Actual Air)

In the last week a book of poetry titled Actual Air by Dave Berman (of Silver Jews fame) has come up three times in conversation. I re-read it tonight. Such a good way to end an otherwise lousy day.

Here's a sample to inspire you go grab the book yourself:

Classic Water

I remember Kitty saying we shared a deep longing for
the consolation prize, laughing as we rinsed the stagecoach.

I remember the night we camped out
and I heard her whisper
"think of me as a place" from her sleeping bag
with the centaur print.

I remember being in her father's basement workshop
when we picked up an unknown man sobbing
over the shortwave radio

and the night we got so high we convinced ourselves
that the road was a hologram projected by the headlight beams.

I remember how she would always get everyone to vote
on what we should do next and the time she said
"all water is classic water" and shyly turned her face away.

At volleyball games her parents sat in the bleachers
like ambassadors from Indiana in all their midwestern schmaltz.

She was destroyed when they were busted for operating
a private judicial system within U.S. borders.

Sometimes I'm awakened in the middle of the night
by the clatter of a room service cart and I think back on Kitty.

Those summer evenings by the government lake,
talking about the paradox of multiple Santas
or how it felt to have your heart broken.

I still get a hollow feeling on Labor Day when the summer ends

and I remember how I would always refer to her boyfriends
as what's-his-face, which was wrong of me and I'd like
to apologize to those guys right now, wherever they are:

No one deserves to be called what's-his-face.


--David Berman. Actual Air

As a bonus here's a couple of Silver Jews interviews: circa 1989, circa 2002, 2005 & 2008

posted at 01:47 AM by raul

Filed under: noted

TAGS: dave berman (1) interviews (2) memory (15) music (6) poetry (5) silver jews (1)

Comments:

03/27/09 02:23 AM

David Berman is one of our best.

Here's a photo of his wife's legs: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradbrad/113409921/

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