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Searching For Rhythms: Small Town Reading Tune Up

       Marcus Colasurdo and I had the pleasure of reading on June 23 in Crisfield, Maryland, Maryland’s southern most town on the Chesapeake Bay.  There used to be a lot of crabbing, and even farther back for hundreds of years, a lot of sailing back and forth among the surrounding islands, northern Virginia, and the estuaries of this low marsh land.  It was a real pleasure to read there. 

       We read a mix from our recent PM Press book, Heart X-Rays, as well as nature poetry more suitable and familiar to this smaller town locale.  Of course like everywhere else, television and the Internet reach this peninsula.  Still, Crisfield’s Main Street is a few square blocks.  The audience was less used to a literary presentation, it seemed, yet more digging what they did not expect.  Hungrier for it.  It reminds me of the saying, from American poet William Carlos Williams:

                                    It is difficult to get the news from poems

                                                But men die miserably every day

                                    From lack of what is found there.

       Our reading was not so dramatic.  Rather, it was intimate and communicative. There is something of the “news” in poetry, as Williams put it, vacant from the newspaper.  

       The following day, we stopped by an open mike at a local café, the café being also new to Crisfield.  It was the first open mike of an envisioned series, the host said.  I’m so glad we shared in that too.  Communication, listening, community, expanding boundaries. . . .

       Poetry has its roots in song; in Western culture that goes back to the Homeric chanted poetry of Ancient Greece and the dramatic choral poetry of those famous Ancient Greek tragedies.  What makes poetry different from today’s songsters?  I can’t say I plan to answer that question, but, poetry must escape paraphrase.  This being said, I’ve been playing with song-like poetry, see below:

 

History -

Don’t erase

Let’s face

                                    TIME

 

Not a game 

To turn life

Into rhyme

                                    MINE

 

Can you go

Mapless

With the flow

 

To replace

The chase

With the heart

                                    LET’S GO!

 

Here I am

Just a man

But a man

 

         DEMAND

 

Hear me Roar

The female 

Human 

 

          RESPECT

 

The shape 

of intent

lights the mirror

            of the day

Withstand the replay

move forward

            don’t fade—

 

Can't hide

from the vision

in the kitchen

as you listen—


Brother lost

In the frost

Here's a coat—

I hear now—

 

       Well, that's it so far.  In gratitude.



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