The Alternative New Year’s Day Spoken Word Extravaganza was a wonderful way to begin 2015. And I noticed this year wasn’t as freezing as other years, which was a gift. When I arrived, I saw my friend Mindy Levokove. I had missed her reading/performing, but it felt so special that she was part of my new year’s day. I didn’t expect to see her, so it was a great surprise and felt like a good omen. The first reader I heard was a woman from the open mic list named Emily who is a teacher in DC and did a poem that brought me to tears with her passion for her students and her realization she’d been raised in “bubble wrap” and wears “a vest bullet proofed by history.”
Though there are always new voices in the mix, there’s that comforting feeling of seeing many of the same poetry peeps year after year. And no matter how many years pass, poets seem to be forever young. In my three minutes, I read three poems. This was the one I opened with.
Divorce, Poor American Style
She gets to enjoy exclusive use
of the “marital residence”
otherwise known as the one-bedroom
she had years before they met
She gets to keep her name
the name her parents gave her
Thank God, in this country, she gets
to keep her clit too
It’s only fair
She let him keep his balls
© Mindy Matijasevic 2010
I stayed for a few hours and listened to many others. It’s hard to leave. But I had two trains to take and my darling dog waiting at home to eat and go out, so I didn’t stay for the whole thing. I enjoyed much of what I did hear. So glad I didn’t miss Miriam Stanley, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Bruce Weber, some folks whose names I don’t remember, and Pete Dolack. I don’t recall the title of Pete’s poem, but it might have been, “My God Is Bigger than Your God.” It sure took a look at the thinking that leads much of the world. Somehow he made us laugh. I treasure that.