Monday, November 05, 2007

Swirl

And...the wrapup for the weekend was quite fun. Naoko, Chris, Neil, Kristin, David K., my son Tom and I all made it up to the Rybicki benefit. No, I don't have pictures, but head over to Naoko's blog. I'm sure she'll post them. She took tons. I brought my camera, but the crush of people was a little too much for me to think about shooting anything. Talia, if you were there you would have searched out every last person and talked to them, I'm sure, and had a wonderful time of it. I pretty much stuck tight in my comfort zone, didn't talk much to people I didn't know, and watched the movement swirling around. It was fascinating and of course I take in so much more without the burden of talking. Not to show favoritism, but David was the best poet there, although there were a couple of others I enjoyed, particularly both Rybickis, and Bonnie Jo told her donkey dragging story, which made me laugh and feel comfortable and at home. David didn't read any of the new stuff, but some old favorites. Chad, you missed it. He read your favorite poem "fucked up and fine" along with a couple of other very good pieces. I was surprised at how the atmostphere in the room changed while he was reading. Everyone suddenly shut up and leaned in. Only a couple other people got that kind of reception. I think all of us students had a chance to chat with him for a bit and that was very fine. My son Tom caught the atmosphere too and went back to his dorm room and wrote his first poem, "The Dance," which summed up the evening dead on and was darn intuitive, not to mention a pretty sharp first poem. The only drawback to the whole event was despite my exhausted state on arriving home I never really slept last night, it felt really more like just lying down in the twilight for a very long time.

15 comments:

Rachel said...

I would not have been able to stand being so close to so many people last night. I just couldn't go. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though...although the favoritism thing is a bit of a constant character trait with you. :) Easily spun, though; just say you're loyal.

Talia said...

It sounds great. You didn't meet Greg Rappleye? There were too many people there, then? Your son Tom just now wrote his first poem? What is wrong with his high school teachers?

Charmi said...

I saw Greg Rappleye, I saw Bonnie Jo, I saw Stuart Dybek, I saw Andy Mozina, the list goes on... I saw a lot of people. I listened to a lot of people. You would have had fun, truly.

As far as poetry and high school goes, I never wrote a poem until David's poetry class last spring. It never occurred to me. We never wrote poetry in high school, either, at least nothing that I can recall. But I am old and tend to forget forgettable (sp.) things. Tom is up to two poems as of 1:00 this afternoon. So he is trying to make up for lost time. It was quite a surprise to find a poem from my son waiting in my inbox this morning.

Mike said...

Yeah, I understand they took the Poetry Composition section off the SAT just recently, really took the impetus away from high school teachers to make the students write the stuff. ("Above is a painting by Chagall. Compose a sestina of at least six stanzas, in either dactylic or trochaic hexameter, describing the mood of the woman depicted in the lower right-hand corner. You have twenty minutes.")

Wish I'd been able to go. Well, I ate a lot of cake with my family.

Charmi said...

You would have liked it, too, Mike.

The words you're speaking about the SAT poetry composition section don't ring any bells with me. Of course, poetry isn't exactly revered in my little hamlet, to put it mildly.

Mike said...

Um, sorry Charmi, I should have put some kind of "I'm being ironic" face on the thing about the SAT. There never was a poetry composition section. How do you do that. Like this? :-P

Yeah, that'll work. ;-)

Charmi said...

Now you've seen my gullible side, which is quite large.

It's also a great demo of how written communication misses its mark so much of the time.

And the cake was good, I hope?

Mike said...

Yes, it was delicious, with expensive ice cream (somebody's gift?). Very nice.

Rachel said...

Re: Charmi's MASSIVE gullible side:

Teenage boy: Ma'am, I need a hanger to break into that car next door. Can I get one from you?

Charmi: Sure, here you go. Anything else I can help you with?

Teenage boy: Could I borrow a few bullets really quick?

Charmi: Oh, well, I don't think I have any that go with an automatic weapon. Here...take my shotgun.

Okay, so part of this isn't really true, but the amazing thing is PART OF IT IS!

Charmi said...

Let's not forget that in that particular situation I was proven to be a good judge of character. The kid was telling the truth. I wouldn't give a coat hangar to just anyone. It's harder on the internet. Words are not the same as body language and some other fairly intangible things that go on in the communication realm. I'm fairly certain I misunderstand or I am misunderstood when writing 50% of the time. Probably more. So this is probably a good place to just stop while I'm ahead, or at least not murdered yet.

Rachel said...

I am coming to believe more and more that the essential tragedy of the poet is the inability to ever actually communicate something perfectly. We try and we try and we fail over and over again. This is why I continue to insist that people who choose to write poetry are all at least partly insane.

Chad said...

Damn,

It is my favorite.
It's my away message on AOL, so everytime I inform the world that I am absent I get to read it...

I love it for its odd sense of HOPE it offers...

Charmi said...

Yes, precisely.

Neil Kelly said...

You forgot to mention that Stuart Dybek graced us with his pressence.

Charmi said...

I did so mention it! See post reply #3. But there were probably a million things I didn't notice. I told you I wanted to be a fly on the wall and just listen and watch. It's the only way to see!