Friday, June 4, 2010

A Reading

It is hard enough to write in a quiet place, and

it is hardly quiet here.

Bodies glide past, a river

bearing teacups and coffee mugs

to some spot where the current will die down

long enough to deposit the kitchenware and its bearer;

chairs and couches and tables and a

church pew and a row of theatre seats

near the fireplace and

facing the stage, all full.

Full in the way that a child might be after too much birthday cake, the

building beginning to swell up like a belly.

And the raucous!

Cacophonous harmony hangs upon the air, inhaled by the

gathered collective in uneven breaths and exhaled in


aaaaaagered syllables, a watershed of chinking glass and

dropped books and newspaper turns and

casual words and sweeping glances, evaporated and

precipitated back immediately. Soon the stage is

occupied, and an invisible man with a butterfly net is

stumbling about the room, snatching up the

sonorous specimens and extending

mason jar rooms for recreational use, little

hotel rooms for rent by the hour- air holes in the

lid made with a pin will let the

sound breathe, and it will

occasionally prairie dog the

somewhat silence

to make sure that we don’t forget that it is


They say we write poetry because we are human, but we are human because the poetry writes us.

Upon our blank pages the

world splashes stains and aromas and textures that

cannot be removed, only added to, until

we are left with a mixed media collage that is

something near or like our soul;

that is the poetry.

We sit with as much reverence as we can muster and

listen carefully as each poet walks toward the

microphone upon the stage and opens their

mouth and mind and spills the

blueprints to their inner machinations upon the

floor and we rush to lap it all up like a puppy to lemonade.

Sweet and sticky and delightful are the words.

Here, where semi-sweet

chocolate chips meet

semi-sour stillness

the poetry continues, two hundred blinking eyes roam

the face behind the paper and

the wall behind it and

the ceiling above it and

the floor below it,

one thousand fingers fumbling with

pencils and chess pieces and

bits of paper and zippers and

worn out seams and ideas and

all manner of secondhand thoughts,

passed from the poet to us

to the poet from us.

We have come to share souls and spirit and

reflections of ourselves and the world and

the beauty in it, or as much as we have seen of it, and

we make markers upon mental maps,

little x’s that will remind us to look here and there for

this and that and

all of it to make us smile and laugh and cry and

all at once or in short succession,

the tenets of life lived are writ upon coffee shop napkins and

the backs of business cards and hands and

notebooks to ensure that we remember;

remember that the poetry is


and to be human, we must read it.

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