Had a great reading at the C&P this evening with Janée J. Baugher who read different sections from a personal essay of hers about her brother, his ability to fix anything, the ride up towards Wenatchee and their harrowing trip down the river on inner tubes. I’m very pleased to have had a chance to hear her and read some of my work on the same stage.
Also had an opportunity to meet some great new people and hear poetry from the open mic participants, which included Michael Hickey, former Seattle Poet Populist. Michael was elected as Poet Populist on the same historical day on which we elected Barack Obama, our 44th president of the United States. I had known this because President Obama frequently mentions this in his speeches, but I hadn’t had a chance to meet Michael until tonight.
(Okay, so Obama hasn’t mentioned it yet – we just need to let him know. He’s a busy guy.)
If you have a chance, come on down to the C&P Coffee Company on California Ave in West Seattle on the fourth Wednesdays of the month. There’s two featured poets plus open mic. The C&P is one of my favorite places for coffee and hanging out when I’m in Seattle. It’s inside on an old, converted residence from a time when houses were built with a lot more flair.
También, antes de que me olvide, tuve la oportunidad de practicar mi español con una maestra allí. Está trabajando en un proyecto artístico en San Felipe (Baja California) y espero saber mas sobre esto pronto.
Here’s the poem I opened with tonight. It’s from The Second Book of Muwadi.
When my death melted away and its mortal sickness passed, men and women became translucent again and once more I could see the color of their hearts. They bore their heaving breath in bushels as they rolled boulders aside to call on me in my tomb.
“We have forgotten your face,” one of them cried and another said “No, it is your name that eludes us.”
If I could, I would have spoken and advised them to look no farther than their own heart where all the truthful bits and pieces of God dwell, as a single rabbit though chopped and sliced, inhabits the stew.
But my throat was a cactus, as it is after every bout of death, and I thirsted for a lake of wine. The people saw my need and fetched a bowl of blood to wash the spines away.
Replenished, I dribbled thanks on my shirt and broke a bubble on my lips. “It is I who have forgotten,” I managed to utter. “When ill, I see only devils; when in health, even the snakes are saints.”