Hankering #1 and Hankering #2


Saturday August 18th from 7:00-8:30

I like to read and hear books, prose and poetry, out loud.  Shortly, I want to do events where all we do is read one whole single-author book of poetry out loud in one sitting. We can pass the book around etc if people want to share the reading. Right now, I’m still reveling in the Book of Tea, by Okakura Kakuzo (1906), a long essay linking the role of tea to arts and culture in Japan and asking questions of us (2012). Just because it pleases me, and because I think it would be fun to read, I want to start with that book. And of course, I’ll serve tea. And we start early enough, you can still move on to a fully raucous Saturday night after being prepped with good arts contemplation.


Monday August 20th 5:30-6:30 (before East of Edith)

Feel free to come to the Projects prior to the open mic next week (before Bob Warren’s feature) to join me to simply write or read in quiet. No prompts, no critique, no internet, no talk, nothing but quiet and the option to write or read or stare, since mulling too matters.

*Doors open 5:15. Silence begins at 5:30 and ends at 6:30.

If it’s cool enough we’ll be in the theater, with tables or sofas. If still too warm, we can use the front living room. Since the archives aren’t fully open or organized yet, I’ll just put a stack of books out as options. At the end of the hour you can share what you wrote with someone if you want, or just talk, or stay quiet… And of course you are welcome to read what you wrote on the open mic, which starts at 7:00.

My logic: Once a lecturer said Flannery O’Connor used to trick herself into sitting still and writing by putting her feet in a bucket of water and not moving. I’ve since read that perhaps it was ice water and she kept her feet immersed until she knew what she wanted to write about. The lecture hit me hard: pequeno epiphany. I had more empathy with Flannery and the tub, than I did with the scholar. I want the engagement, all of it, the pleasurable parts and the challenges: the chilling drive and desk-tethered disciplined.

I also think ANY protected time we can make for poetry is good. Ideally daily. I even used to write new poems between the preliminary rounds and finals of slams. And then perform them, however bad. Even that exercise was good. With noise. In a bar. Often scrawled during a band.

Right now I prefer quiet. I also enjoy company. Sometimes I want to feel kinship in solitude.

So it’s 60 minutes without phones or interruptions–for me it seems like a nice thing, especially in preparation for the open mic, which of course requires a different kind of engagement with mouths and ears and even eyes–unless you do as I often do and shut them to hear better.

It’s all good. But balance is nice too.


POETICS is coming back also, perhaps on Sunday Aug 26th at 1 pm. More on that when it’s set.


Thanks, catch ya around–reading or writing or staring–