Last Sunday Poets (and a Tiny Lagniappe)
As fall creeps forward, despite a hot, humid, and sunny day, this afternoon marked the 2016-17 season opening “Last Sunday Poetry Reading,” sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild in conjunction with the Monroe County Convention Center (for its “First Sunday” prose analogue, see below, August 8). But this year’s started a little differently, one of two scheduled poets down with the flu, plus the convention center also hosting the Indiana Toy and Comic Expo (so that’s why those people were out in the hall wearing Imperial Storm Trooper armor! Also the R2D2 upstairs). So, while the crowd wasn’t the largest it’s ever been either, that just meant more time for the Open Mike after.
The reader who was here was Andrew Hubbard, originally from New England but now a Monroe County resident, with two poetry books published by Interactive Press in Australia, the second, THE DIVINING ROD, having come out just last week. Hubbard started by saying he’d been reading contemporary poetry that seemed overly angry to his taste, but he would begin with a happier poem. Those that followed also were generally low key, personal poems, with a quiet optimism, involving such things as “The Last Butterfly,” a rescued turtle, deer in the garden, and the poet’s daughter. Hubbard also, I understand, will be a reader at “First Sunday Prose” in October, sharing the podium with local mostly-poet Margaret Squires and . . . me (with, in my case, most likely another tale from the upcoming TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, cf. August 18, 14, 8, et al.).
Then came the unscheduled readers, including Patsy Rahn who had warned me that she would premiere a poem inspired (sort of) by me, “A Vision for James Dorr,” a poem of bones, constructions, and science fiction. As luck would have it, the next poet was me, so I started by saying it would be amusing if I now read poems about puppies and kittens, and then recited a cat haiku from memory which I’ll repeat here*:
slinking cat’s wet cough
presages hairball, but where?
foot put in shoe knows
But, anyway, I followed that with three poems on the more mundane topic of vampires, all unpublished (just written last May), “Running Its Course,” “The Vampire’s Reminder,” and “Time-Stop,” the last an impressionistic recall of a vamp’s first blood dinner.
*The poem originally was titled “WHOOPS!” (as a lookup after the fact reveals to me) and published in HAZARD CAT on August 24 2010, and appears below as a lagniappe too on March 15 2011, but why not repeat it anyway, eh? Also, following my reading, Tonia Matthews read, among other poems, an account of taking her cat to the vet.