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
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
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.