Friday, May 22, 2015

Not Enough to Go Around

The pieces people leave behind,
scattered and random...
      a book, a glove,
      that pot with the loose handle,
      scraps of paper, lists and cards,
      a note with a lopsided heart
(oh my heart)

But the sounds fade
the echo runs out
and no one even remembers
who planted the chestnut tree

Memories like milk
have an expiration date
and soon there is no one left
who even says your name

Who is to say that I was here
that I existed
that I wept and laughed and loved

I am the person
walking down the side
of the road
one afternoon when you drive by
I am a cloud
that passed in the sky

First we drink
then we sing

Later we eat and sleep

It is the same tune
      the same stew
for years and years and years and years


I had planned other posts first that I never got around to writing and I certainly wasn't thinking of this poem back from 2011...  But here it is.

The Blame Dali poetry group met tonight for dinner and to share some poetry.  I brought one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets - Sick Bird by Jim Carroll.  Other poems shared included Intake Interview by Franz Wright, From a Window by Christian Wiman and Open and Closed Spaces by Tomas Tranströmer.  Excellent poems shared amongst excellent friends.

We met for dinner at the Press Room in Portsmouth so we could attend the open mic Beat Night after.  S challenged us to read.  Jessica and Kate passed, S read the Franz Wright poem and I ended up reading a few poems, going on stage twice.

I started with Carroll's Sick Bird, then read two old poems inspired by Jim (You Are My and Chronology).  The place was pretty empty of both performers and audience tonight so the host asked the poets if they wanted to read again.  I took the opportunity and returned to the stage to share Carroll's 8 Fragments for Kurt Cobain, and then my own poem Not Enough to Go Around (above).  S said she liked my Not Enough poem, which made me very happy as I completely admire her as a poet.  (I just happened to have that poem with me in a folder with other stuff and had never shared it with anyone before.)

All my Dali friends said I was great on the stage.  I don't do many poetry readings or put myself out there much and I don't make it to Beat Night very often.  However I go back with them to the early days when I was on the Beat Nights at the Electric Cave CD.  I so entirely enjoy reading my poetry with the Beat Night band.  It is by far my favorite way to read poetry out, and I get off on collaborating with them.  I don't care if there's an audience, I just like the interaction, the vibe, the music, the experience.

So a good night.

S also left us with a challenge for the next month - to try and write a response poem to Wright's Intake Interview.  I'm up for that.