Skip to main content

Overdue Looks, Part 2

You'll have reading material to last a long time when you purchase The Weight of Addition, an anthology of Texas poets published by Mutabilis Press, founded and managed by Bob and Carolyn Florek. I haven't been to a poetry reading in years, but recently participated in the poetry reading in Denton, Texas, that featured poets published in The Weight of Addition. I had forgotten how nice, how inspiring, how dramatic, and how essential it is to hear poetry read aloud.

The reading took place at the Center for Visual Arts in Denton, a lively and vibrant center for the arts in this university town, a center that truly serves the community with visual and performing art. If you live nearby, think about becoming a member, or at least pay a visit to see the exhibits by renowned artists in many media.

The next reading featuring poets published in TWOA will take place at Follett's Intellectual Property (what a great name for a book store) in Austin, Texas, Friday, April 25, 5 p.m.

You should come. Why, you ask?

Well, here is one reason I have for why I plan to attend. At the end of the Denton poetry reading, I was struck by how the words we read aloud changed the space around us. According to the particular poem read and according to how it was read by its author, the words would soften, open, deepen, animate, even quiet, the space. The words united us, the audience, as we listened--together--leaning forward in our chairs. When the afternoon came to a close, I found myself thinking two thoughts in rapid succession. The first: Poets can change the world, can reroute it, even when that possibility seems impossible, undoable, unapproachable. And the second: We are the world, we poets, we introverts who all went to the back of the stage when it was time for a group picture. And it's a good world, by and large, the one poets make.

So, why not visit that world for a dose of poetic change at Follet's on April 25, the 25th day of National Poetry Month.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Life without Television, Part 2

I began life without television with relief, which was consistent Monday through Friday. The first few weekends, though, felt awkward, anxious, lonely. When PBS has good programming on Saturday nights, it is extraordinarily good. Father Brown, Phryne Fisher, New Tricks... Extraordinary acting, high production values, and I fantasize about the pudgy, brilliant priest just perhaps having an innocent crush on one of his special parishioners, which would be moi. 

I called a friend one Sunday. "Maybe television helped with my anxiety more than I realized," I said. She told me about her aunt who, after her husband's death, kept the television on in his "man cave" 24/7. He has been gone years now. The television goes on, everlasting, in his absence. I don't blame her. Much of my frequent and prolonged television viewing began with grief.

After my sister died, I would watch almost anything, especially late at night when sleep eluded me. I even watched Convoy with …

Whose day?

Years ago, I made some collages using pages from a desk calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image that leads this post is one. Inside the hearts and flowers is a picture from the MMA collection of  a Japanese screen made in the 16th century. It is titled Tagasode, which means Whose sleeves?  The title comes from a 10th-century poem:


The fragrance seems even more alluring than the hue, Whose sleeves have brushed past? Or would it be this plum tree blossoming here at home?
Iro yori mo ka koso awaredo omohoyure tagasode fureshi ado no ume zo mo
The word haunts: tagasode. Whose sleeves? The question floats in my mind like a cloud on a still day. The sleeves materialize in my mind's eye. I hear them move through hushed air. I can imagine, though not name, the scent of the person to whom those sleeves belong. It's not unlike smelling the scent of your infant's clothes, or holding the perfume bottle that belonged to your mother...you don't need to open it... you know tha…

Glad to Hear It

This past week, Larry Wilmore and company mentioned Rachel Dolezol again on The Nightly Show. I don't remember who made the comment, but either Wilmore or one of the panelists said, "Did Rachel Dolezol do anything bad? No, she really didn't. Why did we get so uptight about that?" I was glad to hear it. Three cheers for being human.

I looked briefly at what's on Google currently about her and the now much-discussed Shaun White. I intend not to enter any of that fray mentally or verbally. I still maintain that humanity trumps color. We have a long way to go until we can leave our "paint by numbers" mentality behind, but we've made progress. Good changes can come, even in the midst of chaos and controversy. Maybe White and Dolezal will help us see that eventually.

As long as I'm here and continuing on the subject of color, I think I'm not alone in the fact that I don't like being called "white." As for my background, it includes …