Wednesday, March 20, 2019

You're Still Alive! Live from Somerville: The Saturday Morning Bagel Bards!

Sketch by Bridget S. Galway

You're Still Alive!   Live from Somerville: The Saturday Morning Bagel Bards

By Doug Holder

Often we greet our members of the Bagel Bards group (that meets at the Au Bon Pain in Davis Square, Somerville ) with the refrain, “You're still alive!” This group of writers, playwrights and poets take nothing for granted. But this reflects on the group's informal nature, and the gallows humor that we have refined into a high art.

It is a bit like being in a play or a Marx Brothers movie. I sit back and enjoy the humor and drama that unfolds every Saturday morning. Yes—we discuss our writing, but is more than that. We have a member who regales us with stories of union corruption, corporate greed, and his clandestine forays into Afghanistan. Two of our millennial members often stop by to fill us in about their jobs, their navigation of the world, and their writing. Some of our member sit back and take it all in-- while others compete for center stage to make their pitch, plea, joke, gripe, only to be drowned out by other hungry voices.

In some regards it is a madcap dysfunctional family. Many of our members are accomplished writers, and they bring a wealth of experience and talent to the group. No one takes themselves too seriously, and if they do,they will be brought down to the earth quite quickly.

Some times you need to take a deep breath to try to get a hold of the topics our public intellectuals bring to the plate. We can start out with a discussion of Botticelli and it could easily morph into a heated conversation about Donald Trump, or the meaning of meaning.

Most importantly we are a Saturday morning band of friends. We have a spot to discuss the writer's life, present our own work on occasion, and revel in our own eccentricities. We linger, we schmooze, we pontificate.. . And when it comes to the time for our last cup of coffee , and we leave for all points—we can expect to be back next week greeted by the Greek Chorus, “You're still alive!”

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