A little local poetry, including a visit from the Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, Anne Becker, is good for the soul. After a long day at work on deadline, there's nothing like an open mike.
It sounds like I go to one every night! I don't, of course, except in my dreams.
The sound of someone's voice reading her (or his) poetry is like relaxing in a field of flowers (with no bees or bugs).
The microphone helps.
It's like when you were a kid and your mother gave you one of those big cardboard rolls for wrapping paper. She planned to throw it away, but you could have it for a while. Remember that? Maybe it was just me. Let me know if you remember.
Yelling into it, I sounded like a circus ringmaster announcing the elephants or the cast of Gone with the Wind who were all poodles. I love yelling. I yell in the shower. I don't have the ego to call it singing. Show tunes mostly.
Blame it on my evenings with my mother at the Warwick Musical Theater, the "Tent," for shows like "Guys and Dolls" where I got Lloyd Bridges's autograph.
Or another musical, "Brigadoon." All live up on Route 3.
Thursday evening at the Community Center, everybody had 5 minutes, which was more than enough time to read three poems. I read "The Cormorant Dries Her Wings," which I'll be posting here next time with the backstory. And I read the last stanza of a poem about my dad.
The audience -- 20 people? -- were still as a lake at sunrise. Except when they were clapping (after every poem), and except for the fellow in the back eating his fourth lemon cookie from a plate set out for after the reading. What a noisy gnosher. And I swear his crumbs, a few of his crumbs, made it to the podium when I was still up there.
Microphones are strange appliances. That screeching when things go wrong is the worst. But this one worked great. All voices sounded full, and the poems, so much the person who was reading. As if what you write down on paper really matters, as if no less than your life depends on it. Every single day.