Monday, August 28, 2006

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction)

Part VII
God, the crescent moon!

Back in the days when Christian and I went to every poetry event in town thinking we might meet someone interesting to talk to about poetry, someone we liked and admired, we’d go to these bookstore readings with reasonably decent poets where the only people who were there besides us were family and friends.

Or we’d go to these packed readings by really really bad poets.

Once we went to a poetry reading at Powells Books, which in and of itself is indeed a rare occurrence. Powells is not a big supporter of poetry. They do have a lively trade in used poetry books though.

Anyway, I think it was a Copper Canyon event. This one guy was supposed to be something like the last of the living Beats or something, much praise, many flowery gushy phrases.

First though we had to suffer through a guy who screamed at us. Now this happens on the open mic circuit all the time, attention seekers who scream at the audience to get and maintain attention. But this guy; appeared reasonable, the room was packed and still he went and got all stentorian on us. The plastic folding chairs at Powells are extremely uncomfortable and jammed way too close together. It was horrid.

Christian was out smoking and missed the whole thing. The rat.

But that wasn’t the main event, no; the main event was this old unattractive guy with the apparent ability to make connections. His ace in the hole, and it was a good one, was that he had managed to get a most beloved local Italian teacher to stand next to him with her shirt unbuttoned almost to her waist and read his dreadful tripe to us in Italian.

The audience was charmed. The audience was full of a bunch of idiots that never buy poetry anyway and were holding their breath until they could let it out again on their next trip to Tuscany. For the food, you know. That one special tomato, that unique sun kissed olive oil.

Forgive me; I digress.

Christian was there for that and he made the best suggestion that I must must follow up on if I ever get a featured reading of my work again. I get the most handsome young man I can dredge up and have him stand beside me in tight pants and a billowing white shirt and after I read my poem in English, he can read it in French!

Michel would do it I am sure, he’s a little older than I’d imagined but there is this other Iranian guy here, handsome and a gifted poet with the most to die for voice.

He belongs to the local Baha'i Poetry Brigade.

We published his poem about Mulberries in our little journal. He’s married with a bunch of kids so we’d have to hide them.

I still laugh when I think about doing this. A little something for everyone.


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