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Chicago Poet Profile: Lucia Blinn

By Anonymous in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 6, 2005 5:05PM

2005_07_LuciaBlinn.jpgChicagoist was looking for some literary fun back in May when we stumbled upon a reading by Chicago poet Lucia Blinn, dubbed by her publisher the "Dorothy Parker of Michigan Avenue." We weren't able to attend the reading, but we've since picked up her witty book of poems and memoir tidbits (And how could we resist, what with that tempting quote, upon which both the quoted and subject decline to elaborate?), Lucia: Passing For Normal, and we think this lady's pretty swell. Before writing poetry, Blinn had a successful career as an advertising copywriter, during which, she tells us: "My long-term goal was to eventually retire and write ‘for myself.’ Happily, enough, I’m doing just that."

Her poems, many of which riff humorously on the distressing velocity and acceleration of modern life, seem to reject the lifestyles of us young folk and favor reminiscences of simpler days. She tells us: "I’m dizzy from the ever-quickening pace of our lives today and all the Stuff that is aimed at all of us--kids and adults--that we’re told we can’t live without and, although I’m sounding ever more like an antique, I prefer quieter, simpler and less." Still, we imagine (and hope) we'll be as fiery as she "on the sunset side of sexagenarianism," as the speaker describes herself in "Missing, Redux", wherein a "red-hoodie'd ingénue" on a crowded bus asks her if she would like to sit down:

Please. Do not ask that again.
Not 'til I've bought and paid for and am actually
wearing the flesh-colored, elastic stockings.

And reading the excerpts from her unfinished memoir make us long for more--hey, we may love our ipods, but we can relate just the same to her former 20-something social and professional anxieties, and even, technochildren that we are, her current desire for greater simplicity. In concert, her prose and verse read like a classic movie we'd like to see again: evocative and colorful, even in black and white.

You'll find it on Amazon or at First Flight Books, but probably not in your local Barnes and Noble or Borders; we found our copy of Lucia: Passing For Normal at The Book Cellar.