Looks like our trip to Ireland, which was in jeopardy not long ago, is back on, and just my wife and I are going - no kids! I can't wait - we leave Friday evening.
Poetry: I hosted the first reading of the season for Quick and Dirty Poets Friday night. The featured poet was Aaren Perry, a dynamic performance-oriented poet from the Philly area. I took his workshop at this year's Philadelphia Writers Conference, so I invited him to read for us. He was a big hit, and the evening in general had a really good vibe. We Q&D's read our works, which were well received (Rachel was absent), and even the open reading was quite good. I was a little put off by a guy who had come with Paul L. - his poetry was a vitriolic, profanity-laced rant against someone who'd done him wrong. I guess it was okay for the type of piece it was, but I'm glad no kids were in the audience. It was good to see Anna again too, after her surgery - she was lovely as always, but said she still gets tired easily.
My friend Lorraine has been trying to keep a weekly poetry prompt going with me. I was rather satisfied with my last effort, based on a poem by William Stafford about finding a dead deer in the road. Mine was about performing euthanasia on a suffering gerbil. Uplifting, eh?
Music: Two big purchases this past week:
(1) The next Bruce Springsteen album, Magic - folks are really raving about it, especially those who don't care much for his side trips away from the E Street Band. They consider this a return to form. I think it's excellent too, but I also think his last three albums were on a par with this one - I liked the rootsy departures of Devils and Dust and We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Favorite tracks: "Radio Nowhere", "Girls in Their Summer Clothes".
(2) Iron and Wine: The Shepherd's Dog - Sam Beam, who is essentially Iron and Wine, seems to be coming out of his hyper-mellow shell and actually doing some passionate singing here. And the rhythmic changes and surprises in this album are brilliant. One song even approaches "rock n' roll". It's really excellent, and one of the best albums of the year.
Poem of the Week: How about this one, which was published in Sunken Lines last year, and was recently featured as Poem of the Day on Pathetic. org. I had a lot of fun writing this one:
Mr. Cliché Reflects on His Love Life
It was love at first sight,
as I bellied up to the bar
and said, “You come here often?”
She was built like a brick pagoda,
and after a few rounds on me,
we were chewing the fat.
Before I knew what hit me,
it was “Your place or mine?”
The rest is history.
It was a whirlwind romance,
a match made in heaven.
We were over the moon,
with stars in our eyes.
But then, it was crunch time,
bottom of the ninth,
time to fish or cut bait.
So I popped the question.
It was wedding bells for us,
we tied the knot, for better or worse.
And after that, “home sweet home”.
I joined the rat race
and she had a bun in the oven.
Then came our bundle of joy,
the patter of little feet,
rug rats in our humble abode.
But then, I got the seven-year itch,
and I fell off the wagon.
The shit hit the fan,
and in a New York minute,
she wrote a “Dear John” letter,
saying, “Sayonara, sucker,”
and “Hasta la vista, baby!
See you in court!”
I was between a rock and a hard place,
left high and dry, without a pot to piss in.
Well, that’s the way the ball bounces.
That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
C’est la vie.