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April 24

 Did you know that Evian spelled backwards is naive?
I myself was unaware of this fact until last Tuesday night
when John Ashbery, Marc Cohen, and Eugene Richie
gave a poetry reading and I introduced them
to an audience that already knew them,
and there were bottles of Evian at the table.
As air to the lungs of a drowning man was a glass of this water to my dry lips.
I recommend it to you, a lover of palindromes, who will also be glad to learn that JA read us three "chapters" of his new poem, "Girls on the Run," a twelve- part saga inspired by girls' adventure stories, with characters named Dimples and Tidbit plus Talkative and Hopeful on loan from "Pilgrim's Progress.
" As Frank O'Hara would have said, "it's the nuts.
" The poets' books were on sale and afterwards two of the poets signed theirs happily and the third did so willingly and Joe took photos and I smiled for the camera, shaking hands with people I knew or didn't know and thinking how blessed was the state of naivete my naive belief in the glory of the word

Poem by David Lehman
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