« The Birthday Porch Vacation | Main | A Grand Trine Alignment »

The Baroness of Birthday, The Countess of Coffee, and Justin the Jousting MC

may17sw.jpg Contrary to Tom Ryan's Floyd Enquirer report of a full contact mud wrestling poetry slam for the title of High Priestess of Poetry, there was no mud, or even mud pies, at May's Spoken Word night at the Café Del Sol. There wasn't even any chocolate cake, which might have been expected considering that it was my birthday.

No mud pies, no chocolate; but there were poems, some of which were written for me in celebration of my birthday. No mud slinging, no slamming, no world titles were won; but there were words, a limerick, storytelling, and stand-up comedy.

In Tom Ryan's satirical mind, I'm known as Colleen "Soul Crusher," which I suspect refers to the fact that reading my book The Jim and Dan Stories made him cry. Fitting of that title, I read a seven minute essay of the tearjerker variety, swlimmerickx.jpgbut not before waving a picture of my new grandchild and bragging about his good looks to the audience.

Mara Robbins, referred to as Mara "Drama O-Rama" by Tom, did a dramatic limerick with Rosemary Wyman that they had written over a Scrabble board especially for me: There once was a colleen from Floyd ... who didn't get pissed off or annoyed ... but she had a goal ... of crushing your soul ... behavior that's best left to Freud.

Café owner Sally Walker, who Tom calls the Countess of Coffee, excused herself as MC with a note, claiming that she was consoling her husband Frank who was in hiding after being outed by Tom. Mara read Sally's note to the crowd, which closed by saying that (seeing as how she is the Countess of Coffee and all) she would get back to work as soon she pleases. sw.jpg

Justin Winters grabbed up a large green and white golf umbrella that was leaning against the wall and, using it as a mock microphone, filled in for Sally. Reading the names off the sign-up sheet, he called us up one-by-one to the mic, alternating ad-libbed stand-up with his master of ceremonies duties. He also performed an original poetic rap when his own name, which he pronounced in a French accent, came up on the list.

Jayn Avery had a new poem written while selling pottery at the Roanoke Market earlier in the day. Rose Cherrix wondered why she brought a white feather until she heard me read my piece, in which both black and white feathers played roles. At the end of the night, she gifted me with her perfect white feather in honor of my new grandson Bryce Gabriel.
In the background, we occasionally heard evidence of the Young Actors Co-op Production of "The Amazing Wonderful Theatre Variety Show" being performed in the back of the building, in the Winter Sun Hall. Some of us, some of time claimed their applause as our own, even though there was plenty of clapping in our part of the building. (I wondered if any of the young actors took bows to our applause.)

Felicia Mitchell, one of the readers at the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative and the Floyd Writers Circle poetry swap at the Floyd Country Store last month, drove an hour and a half from another part of Virginia to read her poetry, which was well received. Hayden Polseno-Hensley returned to the mic with a poetic list of do's and don'ts. swscra.jpgHe spent part of the night in the café and part next door at the YAC Variety Show, where a skit he had written was being performed.

Chelsea Adams dedicated her six word memoirs to me, after I read a group of them last month and challenged others to write some. Her prophetic poem written on the morning of April 16, before the Tech shooting, was chilling. Sam and his wife played Scrabble when he wasn't reading from his chapbook. Rose's son, Abraham, told a funny story about oysters being confused with ponies on Chincoteague Island. hayden.jpg Two first time readers braved the mic.

Katherine Chantal, who Tom has named "TeaTime" Chantal should have won a prize for being number one on the sign up sheet of thirteen readers. It was a first, going first for her.

Photos: 1. Katherine reading in the background to the birthday girl in the foreground who turned around to listen right after this was shot was taken. 2. Mara and Rosemary perform a singing telegram limerick to Colleen. 3. Mara and Justin enjoy the show. 4. It was a good turnout. Chelsea up front. 5. Sam's wife had two seven letter bingos. 6. Hayden about to make us laugh.


Happy Birthday Colleen!!!

Big Bummer for me missing the evening at the Cafe.
Ugh! I felt like poo poo and stayed home.
Bryce is SO CUTE!!!!!

Here's my latest: "Too many words, rest in stillness"

Michele sent me to wish you a happy birthday and congratulations on the new grandchild. The poetry event sounds like a really entertaining evening.

Looks like another SRO crowd for SWN. Wish I could've been there to help celebrate you.

OMG Colleen you have a grandson! And you had your birthday while I was gone...happy belated birthday and congratulations on that beautiful baby boy! He was so pretty, just a precious baby. Things will change with him around. Caleb- the first grandchild- changed us all. Suddenly family outings weren't about adult things but kid things and I wouldn't have it any other way. I wish you and your family nothing but the best times ahead...and what a celebration you had! So many people honoring you, that shows how nice you are. And loved. But shame on them for not having you any chocolate cake!

Would you believe that Bryce is what I wanted to name a boy if I ever had one? I love that name.

I was okay with no cake because I had two at home, and carrot is my cake, but only if it's baked by chef Kelly Erb.

Bryce is French, Welsh, Irish, or English. In French in means freckled, in Welsh it means strength and valor, in Irish it means swift, and English is noble born.

What a memory maker !!!You are blessed girl . And you don't look a day over new grandmother !!!!

Happy birthday, Colleen! And congratulations on becoming a grandmother -- Bryce Gabriel is a very lucky little guy!

Post a comment