Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sandra Beasley's Salon at Chapters

I haven't been to a reading in such a long time that made me think of why any of us writes, and writes poetry for that matter. Readings where the room almost falls away and all there are are words upon words and someone churning them around over her head until the words are air, then they are thick, and somehow you are both there and not there, somewhere in the middle of rapture and consciousness in which you begin to understand why language matters. I don't suppose I'm doing justice to de-mystify poetry (which is what I had thought I wanted to do for my students who seem to prefer Dave Matthews over any poet, which I'm hoping is just because Dave is more familiar) nor do I think it can be deconstructed. Why I wonder do so many people have an aversion to that which I love, that which I was drawn to since middle school.

Today in class we talked briefly about the magic of language, that childhood sense of wonder and fascination with magic, with the imagination. We also talked about the simplicity of language, of William Carlos Williams, and the edge of Gwendolyn Brooks. Frannie Lindsay and DanaRoeser were the living embodiment of this dialogue translated to live poetry reading.

This was also my first time at Chapter's bookstore, a wonderful independent bookstore---served as the perfect backdrop for the reading. And the former poor starving writing was glad that they served wine, sparkling water, and some light fare afterwards to entice people to stay and muse awhile. And the latter young professor in me poured herself a glass of sparkling lemonade and lingered.

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