There's nothing better than an open-mike poetry reading to kick a writer back to the page.
Drinkers are "off the wagon." Lazy writers are "off the page." As for me, other than an occasional blog posting, my regular writing practice has been shot to hell. I have been, indeed, a lazy writer.
Part of this is because of lack of time; I am studying for intensive graduate classes. But for someone whose passion is writing, and who likes hanging out with writers, and who thinks that writing groups are the next best thing since it was discovered that ALT + TAB alternates between two windows on the computer screen, I've been neglecting my passion.
Enter Michael Lynch and Mark Pleasants, who just published a collection of original poetry entitled, Experiments in the Architecture of Light. Yesterday, students part of the summer graduate program here in Plymouth, UK, were fortunate to hear a reading by these two fine poets.
The highlight of the afternoon gathering at the "Carpe Diem" pub was hearing the poetry of other teachers who took Micheal's poetry class this summer. The event was an open mike session of music and poetry- a perfect break from hours of lectures on educational theory, discussion on subjects such as "cognitive residue", and the horrors of figuring out the glitches in Dreamweaver as we learn website design. For two of us in the Educational Technology program, poetry was a breath of fresh air.
I happened to have my handy dandy laptop with me which housed a few of my poems. At Kinky Neck's nudging (and he wouldn't stop, believe me!) I read a poem from my laptop. No shaking hands holding a crumpled paper, no rustling, just a steady holding of the computer, with a few seconds lost as I scrolled down. Though I was scared, it was invigorating to read before a live audience and to hear their responses.
So here I am, back at my room, trying to create a cool website using Dreamweaver. And all I can think about are the radishes in the summer gardens in Pennsylvania, the smooth wines of Chile, and how I'd like to taste the lemons of the trees of Seville.
My mind's wireless, floating somewhere high in the clouds that move over cell phone towers and the electrical grids of this city.
Poetry, like the view of the horizon over the sea down at the Barbican, frees my mind from all its entanglements; it takes me to a place where there are no boundries, no endings, no good-byes. No "delete" keys, or CONTROL + Z : just escape. Poetry is a place where the saints and the dreamers and the prophets hang out, a place where there is just a wide open sky taking us out and away.