Thursday, April 26, 2007

Poetry Reading at Work

This month, as many of you know, is National Poetry Month. A co-worker of mine put together a Poetry Reading at work which many of us attended. It featured soft music, poems hanging on the walls of the conference room, poems strewn on the table, poetry books, pictures of poets, wine, cheese, crackers, grapes and chocolate.

Many of us who attended read poems we liked or read our own work. I read my favorite poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll and two of my own.

First, I'd like to comment on Jabberwocky. The Alice books are my favorite books of all time and Jabberwocky is so sublimely perfect, it makes me shiver. It is one of two poems I've memorized in my life (the other was Green Eggs and Ham). I've always enjoyed reading it for it's playfulness and humor. And although I love reading out loud, especially my own stuff, I should have taken my brother's advice and practiced first. I didn't realize I was going to be as nervous as I was and Jabberwocky is a difficult poem to recite.

Still I had a great time. I enjoyed hearing other people's thoughts and feelings about poems near and dear to their heart. I loved hearing people read their own poetry, sharing themselves like that. For me it was all about putting myself out there even if I don't consider myself a poet. I learned that poetry is an expansion of self, like all writing is, but this form of writing goes straight to emotion, memory and to your body because it is rhythmic and visceral.

Good times. Kudos to Mr. S.M. setting it all up!!! Below are the poems I wrote and read for this event.

Three O'Clock in the Morning

We sit on opposite ends of the spectrum
He and I, watching the empty spaces
Sirens go off like errant smoke detectors
Startling and annoying these tender ears

The old ghosts from the Past slink by
I've taken to ignoring their empty wisps
They boo and hiss and puff up for attention
I swat them away like the gnats they are

Traffic reports blare in the the background
Lights flicker from almost dead televisions
At night the neighbor's car alarm goes off
The house dog barks, snarls at everything

Sometimes we send each other smoke signals
Sometimes I wave and yell "Hello! There!"
He cups his hands to his ears while it rains
While I toss and turn the night away

People in the High Tower

Back when we laid the ground with tracks
The hot sun and dusty smoke stinging eyes
We ran along those backbreaking roads
Just ahead of the train

I did not run the marathon of death
Nor would I settle for mere appointments
Or words stretched out across the page
Even at six minute intervals

Inside is the vast storage of imagination
Outside is everything else in the world
Here we have banker's boxes and .pdfs
Thoughts made visible

The days fan out like unnecessary copy jobs
The nights a banquet of leftover pasta dinners
They sit in their offices always one step ahead
Time to go home

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