Reading as Wedding Announcement

 

Here is a poster announcing a poetry reading by Brother Antoninus at UC Davis on December 7, 1969. Seemingly not a big deal as Brother Antoninus read a bunch, but this would be the last reading ever given by Brother Antoninus.

Brother Antoninus began the reading by explaining the myth of Pluto and Persephone and then the prologue to "Tendril in the Mesh," his love poem to Susanna Rickson.  Brother Antoninus continued, "Thus far I have been I've been talking about Pluto and Persephone, but I can no longer do that.  I was writing about myself, and when this reading is over I am going to remove my habit and leave the Dominican order to marry."

Between sections of the poem, Brother Antoninus mediated on the poem and his decision to leave the Order.  He read the poem's rhymed epilogue:

Call to me Christ, sound in my twittering blood,
Nor suffer me to scamp what I should know
Of the being's unsubduable will to grow.
Do thou invest the passion in the flood
And keep inviolate what thou created good!

"He paused for a moment, then slowly drew his robes over his head, dropped them to the floor [revealing buckskins underneath], and walked out of the hall."   The reception to follow would be a wedding reception of sorts.  William Everson married Susanna Rickson the following weekend.

Thanks to Ted Dunn and Bartlett's biography of Everson.

JB

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