Monday, October 14, 2013

Poetry is Bravery

Last week I picked up a mini magazine called PROG! at my local newsstand/coffee shop/bar.  The postcard-sized booklet advertises 24 pages worth of cool cultural happenings in and around Tours.  Lo and behold!  The first Monday of every month, a café in Tours Centre hosts a free *keyword* poetry reading.  So, before my usual Monday night sauna and swimming sesh, I built up some courage and jumped on the tram to find some poets, poems, and poetry.  Oh la la! 

Opening the thick door to the café, I realized that the average age was 62 (this number was significantly lowered by one young suicidal-looking gentleman).  Central themes were nature, family, love and tenderness.  Under normal circumstances, this poetry might induce vomiting.  However, since I was too distracted by the meanings of the words (pronounced loudly and clearly), the poetry reading became more like an extraordinary listening exercise.  We went around the room and everyone read something…  Luckily, before I left the house, I jotted down a few of my favorite poems from Birds of Arizona, by William Moor (just in case - anticipating that I might need some material myself).  Here is what I read:

Greater White-fronted Goose




Cinnamon Teal

Mandela and when you are going

Ruddy Duck

A house plan

Wild Turkey

of the
all of

Montezuma Quail

they are and are in
R a
R and
who are in the

Neotropic Cormorant


Cedar Warwing

, that
that the

Yelllow Warbler

Click the

...  Cool right?!  Haha!  I stayed for a while afterwards to talk to the president of their association (who happens to live right down the street from me in Saint Cyr) and another very nice woman who pretty much told me her life story.  Their poetry was not at all what I’m used to.  Poetry where I come from challenges great big ideas with interesting sounding words that cut into your thoughts and graft them with your feelings.  Truly, this experience left me with a deep sense of gratitude for Billy and his poetry and the poetry community in the Bay Area.

I've realized that, no matter what topic you choose to write about or what country you inhabit, writing poetry is an incredibly brave act.  So I wrote a poem.   I’m sure the poem I'm about to share with you has been written before – either by a sad solitary peace corps worker, or a lonely soldier in some dugout somewhere craving the greatest creation to ever come from the United States besides the internet…  I'm warning you - it's so bad that it's even more bad, but here it is anyway:

Peanut Butter Poem

On a sunny afternoon
I will lick you from a spoon

Chunky, smooth, sweet
You’re all I ever want to eat

You make me more me

This week I've been working on a few poems inspired by different circumstances I've encountered while living here in Saint Cyr.  I'm also working overtime on my French...  Billy sent me a link to this site, which is a fun way to learn a new language:  Check it out!

That's all for now.  More later!

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