I appreciate your kindnesses after yesterday’s post. I’m feeling better than yesterday.
Tonight I did a reading. I was invited to be part of it by a friend and fellow poet. The reading was to take place prior to the performance of the play, “The Oldest Boy.” Our “payment” was tickets to the play for tonight. The reading was being put on by the San Diego Repertory Theater and KNSJ, San Diego’s activist radio station.
It was first described that I would have 9 minutes to read. There were three other poets, for 4 total. We would also do a collage poem to end the performance. That was a new concept for me, but basically, each poet reads 4-10 lines of one of their original pieces and the next poet does the same thing to create a one-of-a-kind collage poem. Sounded fine.
I always like to try to create new work for special performances, so I wrote two new pieces inspired by the title of the play. I also brought a few others with me because my poems aren’t too long so I can fit a lot in in 9 minutes.
I was supposed to be downtown by 5:30 pm, but I didn’t want to sit in traffic so I left work early, around 3 pm. Around 2:45 pm, I got an email that said 3 more poets would be in the reading, so now my time would only be 5 minutes. Well, okay, that’s fine. Not ideal, but I can roll with it.
I was there plenty early, by 4 pm, so I walked around Horton Plaza, a huge mall in the middle of downtown with all kinds of crazy levels, staircases, and so many stores. I am not a typical American consumer. I don’t know how these stores stay in business. Anyway, I wandered over to the Westin and sat in the lobby to make some adjustments to the new pieces. I figured I could read the two new ones.
I arrived and saw the set-up and the other poets arrived. They are all great people, most I knew, but there were a couple new poets I hadn’t met before. We did a ‘rehearsal’ of the collage poem, and yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.
So now there’s 7 poets on stage. It was a nice stage with chairs for an audience. When we started at 6 pm, there were two people. By the time the first poet read, there were maybe 6? I was the second one to read. I read one poem, like the first poet did, assuming we’d do another round, but as the other poets read, some took more time than others, so by the time the last one read, we only had time left to do the collage poem. Fine. Like I said, everyone was really nice, and it was fine (have I used that word too often?).
Then I went in to watch the play. It was good. The woman who played the mother was excellent. What threw me off was the use of a puppet to play the son. It’s just like one of those things that happens in theater, to me anyway. They can’t just do a play. There’s got to be some twist or symbolism or something. But, I did like it, in general. There were some great lines and deep thoughts in it. Plus I liked the Buddhist philosophy.
After the play, I went to my car, but not before paying for my parking. $10, even with validation. Sheesh. Then when I was leaving, the parking gal said, “Oh, we have a deal with the Lyceum Theater so you don’t have to pay.” I said, “But I already did.” She said, “Yes, but next time, don’t.” Fine.
Overall, the evening was, you guessed it, fine. What isn’t fine is finding out about the 2 Air France planes having to be diverted due to bomb threats and the suicide bombings in Nigeria. Seriously fucked up shit going on in the world. And yes, it is contributing to my current mindset.
Thank you for reading and for being kind.