Berkeley Talks transcript: Poet Alex Dimitrov reads from ‘Love and Other Poems’

Listen to Berkeley Talks episode #155: Poet Alex Dimitrov reads from ‘Love and Other Poems.’

[Music: “Silver Lanyard” by Blue Dot Sessions]

Intro: This is Berkeley Talks, a Berkeley News podcast from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs that features lectures and conversations at UC Berkeley. You can subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. New episodes come out every other Friday.

[Music fades]

Noah Warren: Hi there. It’s 12:10 p.m. now. We’ll give another minute or so for people to filter in. But I want to just first welcome you to the resumption of in-person readings for Lunch Poems, which we’re really so thrilled about. My name is Noah Warren. I’m going to be directing the Lunch Poems series this year. I want to first also just thank everyone who’s been showing up these past two years on Zoom. Kept this community vibrant and bringing really some remarkable poetry to Berkeley. That said, it is to be back in Morrison. Such a privilege, such a delight, and to be able to experience the kind of energy that poetry can fill a room with I think has been something that’s been sorely missed. Alright, looks like we got the door closing. So, yeah. Welcome, and thank you all.

Before we get started, please silence your phones. We’ll read… Alex will read for about half an hour after the introduction. Unfortunately, our friends at Mo’s could not make it today, so if you are engaged, make sure to seek out Alex’s books on your own time. They’re really worth the time.

Alright. Who is Alex Dimitrov? There’s a perverse logic in contemporary American poetry that suggests it’s sometimes deleterious for poets to morph and change as they write their way into the future. This is said to detract from the affirmation, all important of developing an instantly recognizable style. The result is a landscape that sometimes looks strewn with promising beginnings that have turned stale as people reiterate the discoveries they made at 25. In counterpoint, I present to Alex Dimitrov. Style he clearly has. Just look at him and he’s developed a voice on the page that’s vivid and pressing like none other, no other poet writing today. I’m here to marvel just for a second at the mastery that underlies that style and that presence, and to also just remark at how many voices he’s explored in the 10 years he’s been writing.

His resting stance, I think, is a semi-social, semi-lyric around 25 lines, that emerges in the penumbra of intimacy. Going or leaving on an app or addressed to someone who may just be someone. Two thousand seventeen’s book Together and by Ourselves, pushed this mode a little longer and more sinister poems that kept moving ’til they found their haunting ends in the kirtle of Tom Moore.

Love and Other Poems, his most recent book, metabolizes Frank O’Hara, who’s been there all along in Dimitrov’s poetry. The style has become breezier, intensely charismatic, and at once more impersonal and more vulnerable. Recently, he sat on what sounds like, if I dare say it, a wisdom literature, albeit a very sexy one. We’ll see.

Much is said about tenderness, vulnerability, and pain these days in poetry. These are demanded on the surface. Dimitrov’s poems serve precisely the opposite. They’re cool, they’re polished, their brisk motion through the world and through people, takes on pathos as we begin to sense beneath these qualities what they defend against. Need, sorrow, but lightly. Even as the poems affecting blase sometimes sigh about parties or men, they as often pivot in the next moment to celebrate these rituals. They look lovely at the continuance of change, and they celebrate parties and men, and, of course, New York.

I love finally how Dimitrov has broken down the boundaries between the poem, life, and the mediation of these two on the internet. Calling to us the listener or the reader directly, “Hello,” or “Look at the sky. Kiss anyone you can for sure.” He asks us to double our lived experience and our pleasure with our experience of the poem. He writes from a cab, many cabs, and makes sure we know how real those journeys are, even as they become a metaphysical state. And, in the title poem of Love and Other Poems, the anaphora “I love” spills boundlessly beyond the page, and has continued onto the internet day by day as it praises and mourns the world.

I’m delighted to welcome, to Berkeley and to this space, one of the best and most interesting poets writing today, Alex Dimitrov.

Alex Dimitrov: That was the most considered introduction I’ve ever gotten, Noah. You should read the poems for me, actually. Who is Alex Dimitrov? I’m really happy to be here. I’ve never been to Berkeley, and it’s a beautiful campus though I walked for about three minutes. I was really hot. Clearly I’m wearing the wrong attire. I always am. But thank you for coming. I didn’t know who would come. Noah told me that this was the first event after two years or something like that. So this is also the earliest I’ve ever read poems. I usually wake up around this time. Let’s see how this goes.

“Sunset on 14th Street”:

I don’t want to sound unreasonable
but I need to be in love immediately.
I can’t watch this sunset
on 14th Street by myself.
Everyone is walking fast
right after therapy, texting back
their lovers orange hearts
and unicorns—it’s insane to me.
They’re missing this free sunset
willingly! Or even worse
they’re going home to cook
and read this sad poem online.
Let me tell you something,
people have quit smoking.
They don’t get drinks
but they juice. There are
way too many photos
and most all of us look better
in them than we do in life.
What happened? This is
truly so embarrassing!
I want to make a case
for 1440 minutes every day
where we stop whatever else
is going on and look each other
in the eyes. Like dogs.
Like morning newspapers
in evening light. So long!
So much for this short drama.
We will die one day
and our cheap headlines
won’t apply to anything.
The internet will be forgotten.
All the praise and pandering.
I’d really rather take a hike
and by the way, I’m gay.
The sunset too is homosexual.
At least today, between
the buildings which are moody
and the trees (which honestly)
they look a bit unhealthy here.
They’re anxious. They’re concerned.
They’re wondering why
I’m broke and lonely
in Manhattan—though of course
I’ll never say it—and besides
it’s almost spring. It’s fine.
It’s goth. Hello! The truth is
no one will remember us.
We’re only specks of dust
or one—one speck of dust.
Some brutes who screamed
for everything to look at us.
Well, look at us. Still terrible
and awful. Awful and pretending
we’re not terrible. Such righteous
saints! Repeating easy lines,
performing our great politics.
It’s just so very boring,
the real mystery in fact
is how we managed to make room
for love at all. Punk rock,
avant-garde cinema.
I love you, reader
but you should know
the sunset’s over now.
I’m standing right in front of
Nowhere bar, dehydrated
and quite scared
but absolutely willing
to keep going. It makes sense
you do the same. It’s far
too late for crying and quite
useless too. You can be sad
and still look so good. You can
say New York is beautiful
and it wouldn’t be a headline
and it wouldn’t be a lie.
Just take a cab and not the 6,
it’s never once in ten years
been on time. It’s orbiting
some other world
where there are sunsets
every hour and no money
and no us—that’s luck!
The way to get there
clearly wasn’t written down.
Don’t let that stop you though.
Look at the sky. Kiss everyone
you can for sure.

Someone said this book was optimistic when it came out, and I thought that was a very kind of post-COVID reaction to it. It’s nice though. I’m happy if people feel good reading these poems. In fact, I wanted to design them for the first time so people would perhaps feel good instead of bad. I mean, I wrote two books before that where I was just thinking of no one but myself, and I was not feeling good.

You know what’s really funny? I was broke when I wrote this book, quite literally, and I didn’t have healthcare for two years because I was adjuncting. I was happier than I’ve ever been. Isn’t that weird? I don’t want to glamorize it or anything. But now that I have healthcare, I’m like, “Ah, do I really want to be here?” Just kidding. This is not going to turn into one of those readings.

Noah mentioned Frank O’Hara, who is, of course, a ghost in this book, a ghost in my life in New York. Someone before the reading came up to me and mentioned John Ashbury. People who are very important to me, the New York school is very important to me. So when I wrote this poem originally, this next poem, I thought, “Well, you could just make fun of yourself with the title.” It’s called “Having a Diet Coke With You,” obviously after the Frank poem. Also when the book came out, I got in trouble because someone said like, “Why not a regular Coke? Why a Diet Coke?” I think someone called me a body Nazi and I was like, “Sweetie, I am not drinking a regular Coke. I do not care what the politics are. There is no way.”

“Having a Diet Coke With You”:

is even better than a regular Coke
because in New York the streets are so skinny
I’m always worried about my hair
walking down Lex in the morning
or if we’ll ever get universal healthcare
and I can be assured I’m dying
in all the regular ways—nothing unusual!—
by a professional who touches me
lightly on the chest, the first time
I’ve been touched in months
so I consider falling in love after.
Oh god, Alex…
what is wrong with you?
I can’t believe this is the title
of your poem. If you look up
the billboards are sexy and American,
letting you forget all the cruel things
you’ve said to your boyfriends.
There are other things
I need you to remember.
Like please stop taking cabs
so you won’t have to take out a loan
or become a lawyer. And please stop
having sex with men who are terrified
of looking at your face when you cry.
One day your choices will be limited
and you’ll wear the same outfit
forever into the beyond, into the gold sea.
I’m going to bury you in a white suit,
infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive
as Plath wrote, as you are,
as you’ve been even on bad days.
Here—this is the love poem no one
gave you. And thank god!
They couldn’t do it like this.
Not only will we drink Diet Coke
in this poem, I’m also taking us
to Barneys so you can flirt
with the tall boy selling sneakers
and talking very slowly
about his gentle sword tattoo.
People of the world! Don’t stop.
Don’t give up style, irony or Manhattans.
Don’t apologize for wanting to fuck
someone new because you need
to feel alive. I get it! I’ve been there!
I’m imagining you reading this
with a phone in your hand, in your room,
by a desk, on a train or a platform.
Don’t wait to do what you want!
This is what I’ve wanted to say
from the first line. Don’t wait
because people do not have the answer.
I’ve written this ending before
in a book called American Boys
but I’ll write it again for anyone
who wasn’t paying attention
or talking shit about me on the internet.
I’ll never get over the fact
that the buildings all light up at night,
and the night comes every night
and without regret we let it go.
We sleep a little and we live.
That’s what we do.

I always write down what I’m going to read because if I don’t, I like to jump around, and then just read poems. It’s so funny, a student asked me the other day, because school has started again, “How do you order a book?” Which is a really hard question because it’s really, there’s no right answer. It’s just style, right? However you want to. I had one guiding principle for this book is the just don’t write any bad poems. So then when you’re here, reading anywhere, you can just flip to whatever and read it. I don’t know if I succeeded, but I’ll tell you, I feel easier flipping through this one than the last one. The last one really gave me anxiety, and this one’s just, wow, I was really in a good mood when I wrote it. Can you believe?

“June”:

There will never be more of summer
than there is now. Walking alone
through Union Square I am carrying flowers
and the first rosé to a party where I’m expected.
It’s Sunday and the trains run on time
but today death feels so far, it’s impossible
to go underground. I would like to say
something to everyone I see (an entire
city) but I’m unsure what it is yet.
Each time I leave my apartment
there’s at least one person crying,
reading, or shouting after a stranger
anywhere along my commute.
It’s possible to be happy alone,
I say out loud and to no one
so it’s obvious, and now here
in the middle of this poem.
Rarely have I felt more charmed
than on Ninth Street, watching a woman
stop in the middle of the sidewalk
to pull up her hair like it’s
an emergency—and it is.
People do know they’re alive.
They hardly know what to do with themselves.
I almost want to invite her with me
but I’ve passed and yes it’d be crazy
like trying to be a poet, trying to be anyone here.
How do you continue to love New York,
my friend who left for California asks me.
It’s awful in the summer and winter,
and spring and fall last maybe two weeks.
This is true. It’s all true, of course,
like my preference for difficult men
which I had until recently
because at last, for one summer
the only difficulty I’m willing to imagine
is walking through this first humid day
with my hands full, not at all peaceful
but entirely possible and real.

The friend in that poem is Morgan Parker. She was moving to Los Angeles when I was writing this book, and she was really trying to take me with her. Not hard. She’s a good friend to move with. But I was like, “I don’t know if I want to do movies yet.” I don’t know. LA seems fun, but not yet. Not yet. It’s been two decades like that in New York. Not yet.

“July”:

I promise you, I know we’re in September.

At last it’s impossible to think of anything
as I swim through the heat on Broadway and disappear in the Strand. Nobody
on these shelves knows who I am
but I feel so seen, it’s easy to be aimless
not having written a line for weeks.
Outside New York continues to be New York.
I was half expecting it to be LA
but no luck. No luck with the guy
I’m seeing, no luck with money,
no luck with becoming a saint.
I do not want you, perfect life.
I decided to stay a poet long ago,
I know what I’m in for. And still
the free space of the sky
lures me back out—not even
canonical beauty can keep me inside
(and beauty, I’m done with you too).
I guess, after all, I’ll take love—
sweeping, all-consuming,
grandiose love. Don’t just call
or ask to go to a movie.
That’s off my list too!
I want absolutely everything
on this Friday afternoon
when not one person is looking for me.
I’m crazy and lonely.
I’ve never been boring.
And believe it or not, I’m all I want.

Should be my Tinder profile, right? That poem. I’m done with Tinder talking about things I’m done with. Now I’m on Raya. Woo. Let me tell you.
This is another poem that’s riffing on Frank O’Hara. What to say. When the first big review for this book came out, I didn’t know if it was a positive thing or not. But the guy said, I don’t know. I think I should be careful what I say since this is recorded. But he said something about how I almost sound like myself after Frank O’Hara. This was also in the time. So I thought, “Well, I wonder if people will like that?” It turns out people did, but I was kind of offended by it. But that’s okay, because I steal all of his titles in this.

This is “A True Account of Talking to the Moon at Fire Island.” His poem is “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island.” So, I knew what I was doing, and still I felt a little bitchy about it.

The moon woke me up last night,
loud and clear, saying, “Hey!
I’ve been trying to wake you up
for fifteen minutes. Don’t be so rude.
You’re only the second poet
I’ve ever chosen to speak to personally.”
Well, I couldn’t believe it.
It didn’t matter anymore than my books
have never been nominated for anything
or that I’ve wasted so much time
talking to men who don’t understand me.
This was the moon! Talking to me.
Flirting even! The moon was proving
every single grant organization wrong,
the total of grants I’ve received
in my entire life being zero—
and here it was, my time to shine.
Literally! I didn’t even have to
climb a mountain or have an epiphany.
I’m not athletic in the least
I said to the moon. I can barely
run the reservoir in Central Park
and the only reason I like that
is because I can’t tell if anyone’s
emailed me while I’m running.
I’m a very gay runner, you see.
Always checking out dads
and listening to Britney on repeat.
I like to wear purple and black.
I like to feel sexy.
“What in the actual fuck?”
said the moon. “You need
so much help. You need
an NEA, a Guggenheim,
a National Book Award.”
No! I said to the moon.
I only need you, baby.
Or a rich lawyer who
will play with my hair
and pay for dinners at the Odeon.
“Seriously, Alex?”
The moon looked at me
in a very stern way.
Kind of a bitch, if you ask me.
Go to bed immediately.
In the morning I want you
to get up and write 300 poems.
I want you to keep writing poems
no matter what. Don’t think about
anything else. Not even lawyers.”
Okay, I said. Okay, moon.
Who knew you were such a top.
I was practically shaking.
And even though nothing good
had happened to me in the last year
and I was so sad about my life
and my poems, I went to bed
feeling loved and appreciated.
How many other poets
have talked to the moon?
Not even Frank O’Hara.
All he got was the sun.
And here I was,
the center of all beauty! Writing these poems!
Imagine!

I also stole that ending from Fran O’Hara, too. It’s good to steal from the dead. I mean, what are they going to do? It’s a little cute, short poem that I snuck in there. I don’t think my editor really wanted this one in there, but it’s nice. It’s called “For the Critics.”

No, you never got me.
No, I don’t think that you ever did.
When I walk into a bodega
and buy cigarettes and ice cream,
blueberries and Diet Coke,
all so I can cry with real enthusiasm
and with feeling, just as soon
as I can make it home—
that’s called performance art.
That’s performance art, you fucks.

Never gotten a review that I actually liked, let me tell you. This poem’s called “New York.” Noah mentioned the cab poem. I love the cab poem. I never read it. It’s somehow way too vulnerable. But that poem was inspired by the fact that I was taking cabs everywhere. And, like I said, I was also broke. People were like, “What are you doing?” Then, out of this working-class guilt, I was like, “I’m just going to pull out my iPhone and just pretend that I’m writing.”

At first, it was really pretending. Then I was like, “Okay, I’m stuck in traffic again. Okay, I’m late again.” I’m always late. My friends always know this. I’m always late. I just started writing lines in the cabs. Then I started looking back at them and I’m like, “These are decent. They sound like talking to people.”

That became the aesthetic parameters of the book, that it would sound like I’m meeting someone at a bar, telling them a story. Or I’m in a cab with a friend, or walking down the street with a friend, and trying to tell them what I’m feeling. Those are weird parameters, because they just feel very close to life, and a poem is not life. It’s still an aesthetic object. I guess, in some ways, I was trying to break that with that poem, “Poem Written in a Cab,” which I won’t read, and also this poem called “New York.” This is a poem chronicling all the places I’ve cried in in New York. So get ready. It’s a lot.

New York is the best city to cry in.

I’ve cried on the corner of Spring and Greene
smoking one cigarette after another,
taking two-hour lunch breaks in 2006
at my first internship at Interview magazine.

I cried in Washington Square Park the other night
thinking about healthcare
and how I quit my job to write poetry,
and how even a job in poetry
prevents you from writing it.

I’ve cried so many times
in front of the fountain at Lincoln Center,
then watched the cars drive by on Columbus
without reason to cry
and I’ve cried even more then.

The one year I lived on St. Marks Place
I was in grad school and cried at Cafe Orlin
with one drink for a million hours
until I’d write a poem and immediately
send it to the New Yorker
feeling entirely justified
because why wouldn’t they want it.
It was terrible. All of it.
But I miss those days most.

The 6 train is my favorite train to cry on.

It’s always late
and full of other people’s fathers.
No one really looks at you
because they’re so glad
they’re not you,
and of course because they know
that being anyone is a tragedy
like the MTA itself.

There’s something productive
about crying in New York.
It’s almost like crying alone in your apartment
but you can cruise strangers
and run errands at the same time.

Once I was so exhausted
I started crying in the middle of a drink
with my friend Rachel
at the Beagle (which is closed now)
but I was telling her how people
always ask poets to do things for free
as if we don’t have to pay rent
or attend to our loneliness.

Please pay poets, people.
Please pay poets more than anyone else.

I’ve also cried when I was happy
in a cab on the FDR
listening to Patti Smith
the day my first book got taken.
And again that night
when my parents asked
how much money I’d make
and what I would do next,
you know, after this poetry thing.

It turns out that next
there’s more crying.
In so many gay bars
I’m going to list them:
Boiler Room, Eastern Bloc,
Nowhere, Metropolitan
and I could go on but this poem
isn’t about gay crying,
just crying in general.

That reminds me how I used to cry
in Ray’s Pizza (also on St. Marks Place)
and how one time a guy asked
if I had cocaine and if we could
“go somewhere more chill” to do it.

I was so confused I pretended
to stop crying and said, “No.
Can’t you fucking see that I’m crying.”

Then I went to Cooper Union across the street
and continued crying there but less convincingly.

Believe it or not,
I’ve never cried in a man’s apartment.
A man I was sleeping with or about to.
They’ve all thought I was too detached
and should cry more. They’ve all been
emotionally bankrupt, to say the least.
Especially the lawyers.

Clearly none of them could picture me
crying in front of the Bowery Hotel
when I lost my wallet,
the same day I had three poems rejected
and went on an awful date,
the kind that makes you wonder
if you should stop talking to people
and just max out your credit card
at Opening Ceremony.

I’ve also cried in the Sunshine on Houston
(all of its theaters and the lobby)
and each time I remember
how someone once told me
it was a bathhouse, which is delightful
and makes me feel incredibly safe.

(The Sunshine is also closed now
by the way, like Opening Ceremony.
And that’s what happens in New York
when you finally find a good spot to cry in.
It’s more or less gone in a flash.)

Of course there’ve been times
when I wanted to cry and couldn’t.
Moving. Waiting for test results.
Finding out someone I used to date
is now married (to a dancer
with a nice face and no talent;
good luck with that, babe!).

I don’t think I should
count the times I’ve cried at home.
Who could anyway?
I’ve only had three apartments:
St. Marks Place, Houston and Allen,
and 75th and 1st Avenue.

I got that last one
being lucky one night on the A train,
when I ran into a guy
who was on the same call sheet
for a photo shoot we once did for Out magazine.

He told me he had a friend who had a friend
who wanted to pass the apartment down to a gay friend
because the rent was good and in a nice area.

I’m that gay friend, I said! That’s me.

And I still live there—still gay—
the last time I cried being two hours ago.

Sometimes I cry walking down Prince Street
pretending I have allergies.
It’s my favorite street in the city
and my favorite street in the world.

Especially the red brick surrounding the church
where on many weekends in summer
vendors set up their stands
and sell mostly odd things.

A woman almost sold me a crucifix there
in 2010 but I couldn’t afford it
so we talked about past lives and Stevie Nicks,
and how Tusk is most certainly better than Rumours.

By the end of our talk she just gave it to me.
She was a painter and had great energy
and I’m sorry, I know this is not LA
but that word just does something for me.

It might be like counting
the wars America’s been in
if I had to tell you
all the restaurants I’ve cried in.
Most of them are in the East Village
but I do love throwing a tantrum on the west side
where people are slightly more scandalized
because they’re maybe a million dollars richer.
I have no idea. I have $574
in my bank account right now.

Which I did, at the time.

I’ve also cried in front of delivery people, and I never feel bad, because there’s so many reasons to cry here I know that they get it. Besides, I tip 30%. Sometimes 35 if I’m feeling emotional. I like to take the time to remind people to tip well. It says everything about you, especially on a date. Naturally. When I see someone crying in New York, it’s like an invitation. Like I should get to work and join them. Like we’re about to do something important together. I do feel lucky I live here, since growing up I wasn’t allowed to cry. And if I have kids, I’ll definitely tell them how useful it is, and how it costs only nothing. You’re free to cry all the time. Please cry, everybody. Please use your freedom until one day you realize you’re not free at all. You never were to begin with. You’re just another person crying on 10th Street. Again.

Anyone cried in New York? Show of hands. Yeah? Yeah. Alright. Feels good, right? Sometimes. Like everything, sometimes. Where was I? This is a long poem. Thank you for making it through. Three more. Okay, we’re going to get a little bit dark. I was like, “Am I going to throw a curve ball in?” I think I will. Keep it in New York though.

“Places I’ve Contemplated Suicide or Sent Nudes From”: (Love and Other Poems)

My bed
The bathrooms at the Frederick Hotel
Cabs
The 7-Eleven on 74th and 1st
The Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art’s Robert Gober opening in 2014
My writing desk
The stairwells of so many buildings
An elevator once
My favorite wine bar (which I won’t actually name)
A few times at a friend’s place
(a friend I used to sleep with
a friend who used to be a friend)
Central Park
The Marlton Hotel
The Plaza
The Starbucks on 75th and 1st
My bathtub
My bathroom
My very sad kitchen

in which I never cook
and look

how this is no longer
a list poem.

I wonder if anyone can tell what I am.

I wonder why it is they keep looking.

I wonder why they keep looking
and asking me to disappear at the same time.

(This is the poem “LSD”:)

Everyone’s alone on Mars tonight
and love sex death have left for Earth.
Part of me is still on a beach
where I lost something years ago.
Part of me on a beach
and life’s playing from the beginning.
Nine hawks dividing the dusk.
Wild light through each tunnel in time.
The day I met you never ended for me.

I’m a control freak. I know it’s hard to tell, or maybe you can tell. It’s probably one of the reasons why we write poems, some of us. It’s a false sense of control like everything else. But when I was writing this book, I was thinking about, well, I was happy, like I said. But then at the end of it, COVID happened, or right before, and I was like, “Hmm.” So we were in the editing stages of this, and I thought, “I would love to just tell people what to do one last time.” So then I wrote this poem.

“Notes For My Funeral”:

This is the last one. Thank you for coming.

No one’s allowed to tell
their sad story at my funeral.
No one’s allowed to tell
my sad story at my funeral.
There must be cocaine.
Talk shit about all the people
I hated. I’ll still hate them
(probably even more when I’m dead).
Play Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”
on repeat. Don’t cry.
Don’t be embarrassing.
It’s not a good song
to do drugs to so after
play Fleetwood and take
a Xanax. Rent a room
overlooking Central Park
and get more drugs.
Invite strangers up.
Don’t return desperate
texts from people who
hound you because
they’re boring.
Just think about me.
Think of New York.
How the people who
never liked me never
liked me because they
always assumed I was
having too much fun.
And you know what?
I was. I loved being alive.

Thank you.

Noah Warren: Thank you, Alex. That was remarkable. Yeah. This room was buzzing. And thank you all for coming and joining us today. It’s really good to be back here and we hope we’ll see you again next month, Oct. 3, for Jake Skits. A couple notes of thanks, and an injunction. There should be a signup sheet for our email list over by the desk there. So if you’re compelled, put your email down. Alex’s reading, as all the readings before, will be up on YouTube shortly, where you can just find us on Lunch Poems.

Our sponsors and patrons make this all possible. First of all, the library. Thank you, Amber, as the living representative. But this space is a great gift, and all the resources behind it. Also, the Arts Research Center whom we’re partnering with this year. Buy books when you get home. If you’re in a little red chair, maybe you could fold it up and take it to the exit as you’re leaving. That would be helpful, I think. Thank you.

[Music: “Silver Lanyard” by Blue Dot Sessions]

Outro: You’ve been listening to Berkeley Talks, a Berkeley News podcast from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs that features lectures and conversations at UC Berkeley. You can subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. You can find all of our podcast episodes with transcripts and photos on Berkeley News at news.berkeley.edu/podcasts.