Monday, August 08, 2005

Another report about "Breaking Bagels With the Bards." from Irene Koronas.

O wondrous joy of being with poets, poets, those worddecoders, recorders of the hopeful, the futurists;bringing together our experiences and strengths. OKAY.some of us don't agree the future is all that great orhopeful. not that we have to agree. during oursaturday underground table talk the dark flat wallstake on a creamy hue which causes, (like vanilla icecream in rootbeer,) me to float off the ground.grounded by the bagel and tea i"m able to check outour surroundings. a homeless man sits watching us. hismuttering almost seems like our own. he's a bulky manwho blends into the walls. his clothing takes on thenondescript generic setting of this place, that isuntil he stands up. he walks toward the men's roombehind us. his size intimidates me. quietly he getsthe key and helps a customer open the female symbolrestroom door. if he didn't mumble, we might mistakehim for an eccentric tourist or even a bank teller onhis day off, or a poet looking for spare change tofeed a poet's insatiable appetite for something tosay. since i'd seen him before i knew his situationwas none of the above.after we are all seated with our bread, markgoldfinger talked about his journey, his income earnedfrom the homeless newspaper 'spare change.' startingas a vender in march 1993, now he has become theeditor of poetry. i feel proud to be here with thiskind gentleman. in fact, all the men around me aregentle men. O such a wonder. such grace. served likelox on cream cheese it fills me and i am grateful.lo galluccio shared her love of writing, explainingher interest in open verse, and her tendency for postmodern poetry. our table connections this week includesteve glines, phillip burnham, doug holder, markgoldfinger, jim toritano, elizabeth dornan, logalluccio and me, irene koronas. i brought three smallhandmade artist poetry books, little tidbits of seaglass formations to show off. i loved the attentionthe books brought: "wow, hey, alright, your're thegreatest, wish i could do that, wish i could make artthe way you do, how much are they, i'll buy all three,the price is right, only one thousand dollars, that'sa steal." (OKAY. i'm lying through my teeth.) thereactions were much more refined and i wrapped themback up and took those books home.doug told us stories about a cranky cantankerous oldsemi-famous poet. how his attitude did not endear himto the young women he pursued in public. phillippassed out his two reviews for his forthcomingpublication of his third volume of poetry, 'housekeeping.'stragglers like myself remain after the lights havedimmed, after others have departed, after otherstraverse the great square. we remain to talk, converseabout our past, our appreciation of the bizarre, ourneed to find meaning, our need to deconstruct meaning,our need to transform our own ordinariness, our needto question authority. after which jim, lo and myselfread some of elizabeth's poems. her poems have astrong sense of the moment expressed in short powerfulverse. we read lo's journey to self value, enrapturedsurroundings, her expressive images. jim tells usabout his travel from murky instructions at the hands(or from the mouth) of nuns and priestly dogma.satiated, we finally set off, climb the stairs, hitthe fresh summer heat and go on our way. "until wemeet again."words caught:pigeon turdi don't care what anyone calls mepre-colonial mussel shell hillsyou can't say memorable words when your askedto speak memorable words, it just can't be doneover the edge"like electrons, souls touch all their potential spaceat the same time." john freemani'm grateful but i'd like more moneyon my walk home i pass a throw away alter nailed to amaple tree; it's green wire shaped like a pine tree,with three snow people jutting out from the front. iwant to kneel and laugh at this visual gift on thishot day. instead, i keep walking, grinning at thecreative perfection of the out of the ordinary.irene koronas


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