Bobbie Louise Hawkins – 1976 – Novato

A few weeks back we featured Joanne Kyger’s reading in the Spring of 1976 for the Bay Area Writers group. Here’s the other reader on that occasion, Joanne’s then-fellow-Bolinas resident, Bobbie Louise Hawkins.  Bobbie reads some early drafts of some of her celebrated short-stories (finished drafts, the only real change being the subsitution, in some cases, of some pseudonyms for some of the characters’ original names). She also reads a number of poems

BLH: I’ll read some stories out of a book that’s called Back To Texas. It’ll be out in the Fall..if I can find a good place to start – “When my cousin (Ollie) Velma…”…”the car disappearing down the road, dust and gravel blowing into  a cloud back of it.” – “Marvin answered the door..”….”Ethel snatched it up and looked underneath to see whether the grease had got onto the fabric.” – >“When I was little..” – “Pearl (Caroline) said..”…..”..”I thought we were discussing Bobbie’s (Jessie’s) husbands!” ‘ –  “Curtis (Preston) stuck his foot up in the air..” – “He could just about stand it” – “I don’t have much regard for Preston (Curtis)” – “Well I’ll tell y’awl“… –  Now wait.. let me see.. oh great!..  how long have I been reading?.. About half… ? When did I start reading? about twenty-past? – twenty-five past – [to Joanne Kyger)   Do you want to read a while? –  I’ll read one more story and then I’ll turn it over. – “Well I”ll tell yawl”…”….”I don’t believe it, I know it’s a fact.”..” –

[Bobbie continues – from another notebook] – ” ( a shoulder) appears before my face it’s a movie….”….my heart of transformations subsumed and luminous” – “light fades the promise – a day filled with light…”….. “….that hoped for so much more” – “soft intrusion of dear love that turns the tables” …..”…don’t stop call a cop” “damn your eyes nose and the rest of it..damn your eyes” – “..face of a drunk in pieces.. too late too late” –  (that’s actually a song – it goes (she sings) “too late, too late, all my fondest hopes are dead”) …. “…drunk in the street” – “What was that they called meaning?, what was it they meant by that, calling it meaning?” – “She was too near-sighted to know when to turn loose.” – “Are you really going to crouch in the house rehearsing horrors to yourself? – even poverty knows more than that.” – “more fool him creating the they to put the fiddle in the hands of that he’s to dance to – I won’t make my mind a riddle for the street” – “Think of the good times what you steal back from the void and keep having it in your head and heart. …”…. “…all the parts of you brought through by the good times.”

[Bobbie rifles through books] – [reads two short pieces of prose] – “He still lived.. He still lived skin and bones but alive”…. “….buried beneath the sand.” – “Branches and leaves and a breeze that blows..” …. “… a perfect, a perfect blue sky over the lagoon.”

[ & concludes the reading with a long  poem] – “This is.. this poem is called “The Thought That Was Called Helen” –  “State desire as that dynamic… (Where are the heroes who are women?)”,,,, “All we know is what we know in that place.”)

Thank you very much.

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