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Poetry reading, tonight (was)

April 29, 2009


I was in the library backroom when I saw a postcard for a poetry reading at a local coffee shop, Buzz Coffee, one I had not been to. I put together eight poems including what I’ve written lately and a few from last year, and Erica and I went after work.

The place was packed, with everyone focusing on the reader. The reading was hosted by Herb Jeffries, a Western actor that Erica somehow recognized immediately. When the place settled after two or three readings, I stepped up with my hot dog folded papers and started shaking. I read “Cats,” one I rediscovered today and I am proud of all over again; “Capone’s,” which I wrote after an author, who claimed to be one of Al Capone’s uncounted bastard children, came to speak at the library (we received at least two phone calls from detractors, calling him a phony); and the clearly-different, prose pieces “Tiger, tiger” and “Missed miracles.” I was received well. “Cats” seemed to click with most, and I knew it was the right one to introduce myself with. They laughed and interrupted when I first read “Capone fathered countless bastards,/ mostly historians,” a line I’ve been proud of since I first heard my last poetry teacher, Mrs Paegle, give the advice “begin with the immediate.”

Not only was it great to have people dig my work, but to hear Herb Jeffries say, in such a sweet voice, “more, more,” when I would finish each piece. Considering the turnout seemed more than they had anticipated (I think that sentence works), I think I’ll be there next week.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 30, 2009 1:31 AM

    Sounds like Herb is a version of Julie, and the invitation was well received. I’m totally proud of you- good job on the reading! I had never read cats until just now…

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