Heard the Word
The monthly Café Del Sol Spoken Word schedule got changed and the announcement never made it into the Floyd Press. Even so, on the merit of The Museletter (our community newsletter), word-of-mouth, and one flyer hanging on the café door, June's event on Saturday night ended up being well attended.
But a certain someone who shall remain nameless smoked some pot before we got started and came down with an anxiety attack. Everyone wondered what was wrong with her and why she didn't read her own poem at the mic. A surrogate read it for her, my favorite line of which was, "I'm one of those assholes who writes prose poetry."
When it was my turn, I read a few poems, preceded by my essay about the "accessibility" of Billy Collins poetry and how Collins' thinks the word accessible suggests ramps for the poetically handicapped. For the rest of the evening I heard comments like, "but is it accessible," or "Look, I think Walter needs a ramp for that one."
Mara's "Praise" poem was powerful and needs to be published somewhere soon. Chelsea's poetry knocked my pink flip flops off. Rosemary shared some recently remodeled poetry and a fairytale that George Carlin might have written if he had been a woman. Previously published in Mothering Magazine, the piece, titled "Snow White and the Seven Menstrual Dwarves," had the crowd in uproarious laughter.
Sally, The Countess of Coffee, introduced us up to the mic by our tag lines, coined by Tom Ryan, our local satirist who pens the online " Floyd Enquirer." Ryan tagged Mara "Mara Drama O'Rama" and me "Soul Crusher," because of the book I wrote about grief and loss. Sally may be the Countess of Coffee but Chelsea, author of Java Poems, decided she was the queen. Mara made a paper napkin Coffee Queen crown and presented Chelsea with it, placing it on her head.
Those of us who help promote and host the spoken word are thrilled that the event has been drawing a teen following. Seventeen year old Cameron, a local Young Actors Cooperative member who introduced himself as King of the Hobbits, was a first-timer at the mic. He decided to try an experiment and use his ten minute time slot to talk off the top of his head about his life. He shared that his parents wouldn't mind if he stopped wearing his hobbit cloak around town and that he recently had a girlfriend that had more swords than him. "Don't quote me on anything," he said as he left the mic (eight minutes early). Rosemary reminded him that I was in audience and he would probably be reading all about it on my blog or in the Floyd Press sometime soon.
Gannon told a story, recited some short poetry and promised to write some of his own soon. Sam read an eye opening thoughtful excerpt from his memoir about growing up in Beirut in the midst of civil war. Rose read a tribute to her son Abraham for his recent eighteenth birthday. His birthday was a milestone for their family. She and her husband had to fight the courts for Abraham's right to refuse chemo/radiation treatment when he was battling Hodgkins Disease, even though he was given a slim chance of surviving it. At eighteen Abraham is healthy and free now to make his own health choice decisions.
Abraham read a poem about a wolf. He brought his friend Liz, visiting from Florida, who also read. She had the coolest full length sneaker boots with snazzy striped socks to go with them. I took a picture of her reading and when I was downloading it, later at home, my fingers slipped and it ended up as my screen saver and now I don't know how to get it off. I like her sneakers but not that much.
Post note update: (N)ameless is fine and vowed off pot from this point on.
Photos: 1. Abraham and Rose Cherrix, and Liz 2. Lauri came up from Roanoke. 3. Last reader of the evening, Allie B. 4. Cameron who ad-libbed, holds up his timer. 5. Sam's wife, Gannon, Sam. 6. My new screen saver. Click HERE and scroll for more Spoken Word stories and photos.