Hayden's Ferry Review


Devendra Banhart, Poetry Lover

My beau and I have been listening to Devendra Banhart's new song, "Carmensita" all week. It's pretty amazing. The video - featuring his new girlfriend Natalie Portman - is some kind of ode to Bollywood. It's puzzling, but mesmerizing. After watching it a few days ago, I actually Googled the lovebirds and - through a series of still photos - watched them walking their dogs in the park. I'm not usually into celebrity stalking. But something about these two is fascinating to me.

Then I find out this morning that Devendra is also a poetry-lover! This month, New Directions
is issuing the "most eclectic and wildly eccentric" works of poet Kenneth Patchen in a single volume, called We Meet. The book features some of Patchen's drawings, and an introduction by Devendra.

The introduction so begins:

"I came across Kenneth Patchen the way one dreams of a tumbleweed rollin’ on by, leaving trails of luminosity from within its prismatic pit. The world is, of course, that damn tumbleweed with Patchen’s riddle wrapped around itself, now here, now gone, like the marriage between "Hi!" and "So Long.” We are left born before a new kind of page, the shit kicked out of us, and nothing is sweeter.... Blessed be this shitkicker."

Oh, Devendra. I still love you.