SoCS: short and sweet

This post is going to be very short, because I just spent a bunch of time writing a post about the Sappho’s Circle poetry reading last night.

I guess the other thing I should mention is that I had to adjust the mike last night because I am so short…
This short and sweet post was written in response to Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week, which was “short.” Join us! Find out how here:



The middle of last week, I came down with a cold.

In my younger days, I would have kept going full-tilt and powered my way through – which sometimes worked and sometimes resulted in developing bronchitis or a sinus infection or another not-so-fun complication.

Now, being older and not having so many other people depending on me, I decided to do the wise thing and cancel some of my activities, rest more, eat soup and drink warm beverages, not push myself to work out with my Wii Fit, and generally take care of myself and let B help to take care of me, which, I might add, he does superbly.

I thought I could get well faster and be back to normal strength and activity level in a week.

It’s not quite working out that way.

While I have been able to do more over the last few days, I’m still tired and cold and sniffly and achy and a bit hoarse.

I had hoped to go to poetry open mic tonight. I have been AWOL for months due to travel and other conflicts, so I had hoped to go tonight and read before the next batch of obligations hits.

But, no.

I don’t want to drag myself out in the cold (and possible mixed precipitation) and go on a coughing jag in the little bookstore and mess up the other poets’ readings.

So, I’ll curl up under a throw and rest and try to take it easy for another weekend, hoping to have some voice for chorus rehearsal on Monday. I missed rehearsal last week and can’t afford to miss again.

Don’t I deserve some reward for trying to take better care of myself?

Friday night fun – part one

On a Friday evening in March, I read at open mic poetry night for the first time. I had attended with my husband for the first time in January and planned to read in February, but, instead, we had to travel for my aunt’s funeral that weekend. So that brought us to March. B wasn’t feeling well, so I went alone.

There were fewer people this time then in January, but over half of us were reading at open mic for the first time.  (Actually, we meet at RiverRead Books and don’t need to use a mic, but it’s called open mic anyway.) I had signed up to read second, so that I could enjoy hearing the other poets without the distraction of having to think about my own reading.

Barrett, who began the monthly open mic program at RiverRead five years ago, did a welcome and read first, including a new poem he had just completed about visiting the Holocaust Museum. (Barrett is part of the group of poets that I began meeting with last August. We meet twice a month to hear each other’s work and offer comments. Were it not for that, I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to show up and read.)

I started my reading with “Moonlight” because it is my most well-received poem and my good luck charm.  It is the poem that I submitted for National Poetry Month in 2013 to “Off the Page,” a local program on WSKG public radio; they put listeners’ poems up on their website every April. (Well, they used to. The host retired in 2013, so that year turned out to be the last hurrah.)  I was so excited when it was chosen to be read on air! The host, Bill Jaker, read it. It was the first time I had heard someone else read my work aloud.

I say that “Moonlight” is my good luck charm because one of the guests on the program was Nicole Santalucia, who began the Binghamton Poetry Project (BPP). That was how I first learned about it, which led to my attending the spring 2014 workshop. I included “Moonlight” in our anthology for that session and read it at our public reading.  After the summer session, our instructor helped me find and join the critique group where I met Barrett and eight other local poets. With their and BPP’s help, I have learned a lot about poetry, about myself as a poet, and about how to make my work stronger and better. And it all started because of:

In the narrow valley of youth,
the moon was distant,
as though at perpetual apogee.
Cocooned in darkness,
I slept soundly.

In the broad valley of adulthood,
the moon is close,
casting sharp shadows.
Bathed in eerie light,
I lie awake.

I also read two newer poems, “(Not) the Aunt I Remember” and “Downy,” which I can’t post here because I hope to submit them to journals. My reading went well- I didn’t drop anything or lose my place – and then I got to sit and enjoy everyone else’s work. We had eleven poets read, with the first-time readers outnumbering the veteran readers six to five.

A curious thing happened. I had to remind Barrett and the other poets from our group that it was the first time I had read at open mic. While I am painfully aware of my newness as a poet-in-public, it appears that I can project at least some level of competence, which feels good.

Or it could be my silver hair just makes it seem that I must have been around a long time…


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