Friday, July 1, 2016

Jennifer Bartlett

Hi Larry! Thank you so much for doing this!  I didn't understand that that we were supposed to write something about what I have been doing. Which is a lot! I founded the first AWP disability caucus which was up and running last spring. I am starting a non-profit organization for writers with disabilities called Zoeglossia with my colleagues Sheila Black and Connie Voisine. George Hart and I have a book on essays about Larry Eigner coming from the University of New Mexico Press. These are just a few things.

Poem by Jennifer and a Drawing

Like all of Jennifers, Jennifer had
a best friend. This best friend was called

Andrea. Andrea and Jennifer discussed
many things. They discussed childrearing

and husbands and boyfriends
and potential husbands and boyfriends.

They discussed philosophy and memoirs
and the best subway routes.

They discussed al-non and Buddhism:
disability and the mom-po list;

Portland poets and food.
They discussed Jennifer’s alcoholism

and Jennifer’s outfits and
Jennnifer’s reluctance to be in the world.

They discussed Andrea’s pot habit
and Andrea’s family and homeschooling

and television.
They discussed neurology and

the right side of Andrea’s body and
eating meat versus not eating meat.

They discuss rape and abortion and
being sexualized versus being desexualized.

They discussed Larry Eigner and Jennifer’s
garden and what she should do about it.

They discussed how the neighbor stole Andrea’s bike
and sold it and what she should do about that.

They discussed chandeliers and mirrors
and clothes they landed at the thrift store.

They discussed AWP and why you can’t use a
cell phone on an airplane and the price of

hotel rooms and pets and Jennifer’s husband’s
girlfriend and being an artist versus a poet.

They discussed meditation and their dharma teacher
and common household cleaning products

and which was the best public library branch.
They discussed college versus no college

and grants and business plans
and swimming pools and yoga.

They discussed the projects of others and
what it would take to get a teaching job.

They traded ideas and books and
groceries and clothes. They traded

sorrows and worries and happinesses
and printer paper. Andrea could do

things that Jennifer could not do
and she did some of these things for her.

Conversely, Jennifer did things for Andrea;
things that Andrea did not know how to do.

He is my true friend in the sense that he deeply
cares, I mean, deeply does not care, who I am.

Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer's drawing

Jennifer Bartlett is working on her biography of Larry Eigner (1927-1996).

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