I'm Michael Klein, a poet and writer who has written three books of poems, a memoir, a book of essays, and a chapbook of prose poems (or they might actually be very short lyric essays). My memoir, "Track Conditions," is about my experiences on the racetrack and being groom to Kentucky Derby winner, Swale. I've also edited three anthologies which all face, in one way or another, the AIDS pandemic.
Lately, I've been doing a lot of critical essays -- on poetry mostly, for the Rumpus and Los Angeles Review of Books websites. And I've also been enjoying doing interviews over the years -- mostly, with poets, though I have also interviewed writer and activist Eve Ensler and the theatre composer and lyricist, Adam Guettel (which I still have to transcribe. It's very long). I also teach in the MFA Program at Goddard College and in the summers have lately been doing a week-long memoir workshop at Castle Hill Center for the Arts in Truro.
At Haunted Importantly, I will be sharing news and published work and provide links to everything I can remember. And, eventually, there may be a blog, too about the movies and theater and other stuff I go to, when I leave my husband and dog and cat alone. Basically, I want this to be an open forum for ideas as they occur -- my mind, in space. Or elsewhere, depending on the temperature.
I took the name, Haunted Importantly, from Jack Gilbert, who has a poem with the same title. I think about him and his poetry a lot and, particularly this poem which does something in the end I wish for all poetry to do: celebrate the mystery of being alive. Here's Jack's poem:
It was in the transept of the church, winter in
the stones, the dim light brightening on her,
when Linda said, Listen. Listen to this, she said.
When he put his ear against the massive door,
there were spirits singing inside. He hunted for it
afterward. In Madrid, he heard a bell begin somewhere
in the night rain. Worked his way through
the tangle of alleys, the sound deeper and more
powerful as he got closer. Short of the plaza,
it filled all of him and he turned back. No need,
he thought, to see the bell. It was not the bell
he was trying to find, but the angel lost
in our bodies. The music that thinking is.
He wanted to know what he heard, not to get closer.