Saturday, January 11, 2003

oh yeah? What's the point? Is it that toward which our path recedes as it digs into the horizon?

Called my mother this morning. Dutifully. I was fine with it in a way I haven't been when she's called repeatedly during the week. She wants me to want to call her Saturday morning. I can't remember a thing she said. Except that it made her feel good that I called.

Went last night to the home of Clive Matson and Gail Ford. 2nd Friday of every month they host a Poetry Salon ... they now call it a Poetry Saloon, though there's never been a bar that I've seen ... A nice group of people. You read a couple poems by some poet you've lately been reading. Read a couple of your own. No critiquing. Sometimes applause. I read a short poem by W.B. Yeats and another shortie by Tristan Tzara; read one I'd written about my mother and one I'd written in response to Joan Crawford's Sudden Fear. Nice to have an audience. I got there late. During the break. So I put a teabag in a cup, poured hot water over it, and chatted with a person or two. Martin fumed, as seems to be typical for him, this time about "tourists" (he spat the word) who travel the world and come back exactly the same. "Why bother travelling if you're not going to learn anything?" We were talking about another poet, one neither of us thinks is very good, Martin more willing to listen than I, except, he says, when she reads poems about how great it is to live in Paris or Athens or wherever. "Maybe I'm just bitter because I've never been anywhere," Martin said. He shrugged. "But when I hear poems like that I just tune out." The whole thing about how stupid people are. Sure. "Some people live forever in one place and never learn a thing about it," I said. "They might as well have travelled the world."

Gail read poems that consisted mainly of conversations with her six year old. I liked them. Not sentimental, rather recording what had been said. And they were about death! The death of Gail's mother, the illness of an aged cat. After the boy had said, matter-of-factly it seemed, that it was time for "your" mother to die, "not his grandmother", Gail talks about meeting an older woman in a grocery store. When the woman moves on, Ezra says to Gail, "Why does everyone keep leaving?"

Yes, there was one man who reads in a monotone over-written paragraphs that he seems to think deep and important. After the first sentence I heard nothing.

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