It’s getting late, I’ve set the alarm for 4:30 AM, and I have 3.5 more blog posts to do, so let’s get down to it.
The first feature was former Tasmanian, current Costa Mesan Mike Sprake, a poet of whom I hadn’t heard before. He was quite a discovery. He started with B. H. Fairchild‘s “The Machinist Teaching His Daughter to Play Piano,” from The Art of the Lathe. His next poem began “Neruda encourages us from…” I’m not sure whether the second poem was his or not. For sure, he wrote the next two, “A Taste of Something” and “Rain, 1958,” which he dedicated to the soldiers “who have allowed us boys to be boys.” He followed these with “A Quick Note to Self,” “Muse (I Hope She Survives),” “Uluru,” “Apple,” “What Sticks,” “The Electric World,” “Cafe del Sol,” and, finally, a Daniel-McGinn-inspired piece, “Walking the Poodle.”
The second feature was Kevin Patrick Lee, a Long-Beach staple. He also opened his set with a cover, Jeffrey C. Alfier‘s “Why You Can Never Cure a Small-Town Heart.” He moved on to “Exit Goldenwest Toward the Ocean,” “My Two-Year-Old Son Took a Dump on His Bed,” “No One Reads Poetry, Not Even Poets,” “A Hundred Miles of Surface Area,” “The Real Real Housewives of Orange County,” “My Sister Has Not Seen My Dick,” and, of course, “A tall black guy sipping red wine, reading a novel, a parrot on his shoulder sits on a foldout mesh lawn chair on the sidewalk outside a pale green apartment building with a ‘For Rent’ sign dangling above a garage door.” These were succeeded by “The Motivational Speaker Brings His PowerPoint Presentation and New Book to Our Quarterly Meeting,” “Hooks,” the crowd-pleasing “My Wife’s Tits,” and “More Than What Is Advertised.”
The regrettable part is that because each feature was given ample time to exhibit their excellent poetic wares, less time remained for the open reading. We each got three minutes or one poem. Cue sad trombone.
- Tom Thomas read Paul Tayyar‘s “Conversation I Never Had With My Father.”
- Luke Salazar read “City of Angels,” a rare serious piece, colored by the work of Italo Calvino.
- Linda Delmont read “Pilgrimage to Elwood Park.”
- Paul Sandor read “Bits and Pieces.”
- I read “Reconquista.”
- Nicole Street read a piece that started, “It’s 1955, and you’ve decided this is how you’ll begin…”
- Tom Thomas read his two love poems and three haiku.
- Leslie Maryann Neal read “Bookstore Suite.”
- Ricki Mandeville read “Ode to My Derriere.”
- Eric Lawson read “Madame, Your Perfume Evoked Rimbaud References.”
- Suzanne Allen read “Love and Zero, Doctor Martin and the Egg.”
- Daniel McGinn wrapped things up with “It’s Ten o’Clock, Do You Know Where Your Mother Is Tonight?”
It was indeed ten o’clock, so we all left to try and find our mothers. Mine was where we left her, I presume. If she’s not, I’m going to be very, very upset.