I was lucky to be part of a great poetry reading yesterday at the Books and Books location in the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. I've read with the two other poets before, and once again, I was happy to reflect on how well we fit together.
When we first got there, we had some debate about how to set up. We decided to have the chairs face a landing, where we would read. I read first.
The pictures make the art hanging on the wall much more vivid than they seemed in real life, when I was part of the audience watching my fellow poets. Most of the pictures that we took showed the humans in dim light, overshadowed by the art. I like these photos, but I'm not sure they adequately capture the scene. Ah well.
I read a mix of poems from my first chapbook and from the forthcoming chapbook. I read well--no stumbling, and I tried to remember to read more slowly than I usually do. The audience was receptive.
Here are the three of us answering questions at the end and below, the bookstore manager who was kind enough to arrange everything. The audience asked insightful questions. They were such a great audience: attentive, appreciative, insightful--and willing to come to us despite torrential rains in some parts of the county.
We read to an audience of 50--wow! About 15 of them came from our school, about 10 were connected to the other two poets as family/friends. Who were the others? Whoever they were, they were wonderful.
We've got another poetry reading on October 20 at a children's theatre--hopefully we can do something with a Halloween theme. I have a vision for a holiday reading, where maybe we'd sell books for people looking for interesting gifts. Plus, it could be a neat reading: I'm a Lutheran, one poet is Hindu, and the other is Jewish. If we read holiday themed poetry, how interestingly multicultured that could be. I'll start working on that.
I may have a recording of the poetry reading coming soon--one of our friends recorded us. In the meantime, here's a poem from my forthcoming chapbook that I read. And if you want a copy of that forthcoming chapbook, let me know; they should be here soon.
Penelope Plans a Play Date
Before motherhood, she had a more inspired brain.
It contemplated fractals and the tiny quark.
But thinking of those days just brings her pain.
Her intellect has gone dim and dark.
Now she maps out schedules of each play date.
She associates with mothers dull and mean.
She tries to accept it as her fate
to talk about ways to keep house and laundry clean.
She once saw her Ph.D. as a shield
to keep her safe from hearth and home.
Eventually she had to yield.
Her baby gave her life a different tone.
But when she thinks of returning to her career,
She reads to her child, determined to find happiness right here.