Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of being a featured reader with my buddy Alan Barysh, at a monthly gathering of poets that meet at Larry's II in New Jersey. It had been a few months since I've been a feature reader or even read anywhere; it's been over a year since I've traveled outside Maryland to perform. I was excited to get back into the mix, and to share my work with a new group of poetry lovers.
The group was intimate, and the conversations were full of witty banter and friendly chatter. I later asked the event's organizer, Barbara, how long the group had been meeting. She said they had been meeting since 1998, though they have changed venues a few times. Still, quite impressive.
Speaking of impressive, when I arrived and after introductions, Alan and I were asked to add a verse to the group's exquisite corpse poem. This was my first time participating in an exquisite corpse poem. When it was read by Barbara at the end of the event, I was shocked at how well it flowed when the authors of the poem did not read the previous line (only the final word, which the final word, which was used as the beginning of the next line). It flowed well and remained on the topic of loneliness.
Through the open mic and readings by Alan and I that followed, several themes emerged (such as extraterrestrials condemning mankind and humor in odd situations). Although I was afraid I would be rusty when performing (as I stated before, it had been a while), I was pleased with my reading. The audience was engaging (I got a high five after reading "Chilling" from Look Upon, which mentions giving someone's soul a high five).
I enjoyed myself. I'm looking forward to returning there to read again (even if at the open mic). The people were really nice and engaging; we shared some of our favorite poems and poets; it was a meeting of poetic minds. When I passed my email newsletter sign-up sheet, a few people left inspiring notes next to their emails. They were a warm bunch, and I'm thankful that they invited me to perform for them.
Below are some photos I took of the event space. If you'd like to invite to read at your open mic or other event, contact me here.
Words = Life
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