Alternative Readings For a Cool Wedding

8 Jan

Taurus, Paul Nemser

In my 20s I went to the wedding of a bookish, literary older man I was in unrequited love with, and was outraged—now, comically, I can see—by his choices of selections from The Prophet and The Song of Songs for readings. We can probably assume the woman he was marrying chose, but same diff. I wore a gold dress, got drunk and misbehaved myself embarrassingly, and may have ranted to mutual friends about how disappointed I was in the literary quality of the readings choices, which I felt did not express this man’s inner fire, and what a bad sign that was for his marriage. Well, I think he’s still happily married 20 years later, and now my primary feeling about all that is to be sorry for him that he was forced to invite me to his otherwise lovely wedding. But! It is true that wedding readings are usually so generic as to be wallpaper. The following are my recommendations for a friend who was asked to speak at an upcoming lesbian wedding, though they would work for couples of any sort, if they’re independent thinkers about marriage.

The poem “Borealis” from Taurus by Paul Nemser.
This is a gorgeous lyrical love poem about a statue of a bull that comes to life and falls for a girl. I’m showing the sixth of seven stanzas…. if you like it and want to read the whole poem, please go buy Nemser’s wonderful book.

Aurora, Paul Nemser

The first chapter of In Watermelon Sugar, by Richard Brautigan.

In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan

Chapter below in 2 parts.

In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan

In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan

This excerpt from The Chronology of Water, by Lidia Yuknavitch.

The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch

Excerpt below in 2 parts.

Wisdom is a Motherfucker, Lidia Yuknavitch

Wisdom is a Motherfucker, Lidia Yuknavitch

The poem “This Much I Do Remember,” by Billy Collins from the book Picnic, Lightning

Picnic, Lightning, Billy Collins
As an aside, “picnic, lightning” is a Nabokov reference. It is how Humbert Humbert describes the death of his parents, in a parenthetical. Poem below in 2 parts.
This Much I Do Remember, Billy Collins

This Much I Do Remember, Billy Collins

Two poems from The Black Unicorn, by Audre Lorde

The Black Unicorn, Audre Lorde

Fog Report, Audre Lorde

Recreation, Audre Lorde

This excerpt from The Memoirs of Hadrian, by Margeurite Yourcenaur

Memoirs_of_Hadrian
When he says “love” here, he mostly means sex, but it’s a fabulous passage for the right kind of couple. Ending with does not follow his god to the end.

Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenaur

And lastly, I’m going to do a separate post on this, but I also recommend an excerpt to taste from Swinburne’s The Masque of Queen Bersebe.

 

 

One Response to “Alternative Readings For a Cool Wedding”

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  1. Swinburne, The Masque of Queen Bersabe | An Anthology of Clouds - January 13, 2015

    […] line is from Swinburne’s, The Masque of Queen Bersabe, my other contender for a great alternative reading at a wedding, if the happy couple can loose themselves from the bonds of the literal and celebrate fate and […]

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