I had a very good time at the 4 Horse reading on Friday night. It had been a very personally stressful week. I was not feeling funny one bit, so I was glad it was a poetry reading and not a comedy show I was in.
I was barely able to catch up with myself and was still writing a poem on the train ride heading downtown. When I arrived, the host, Bob Quatrone, was reading a wonderful piece about an emotionally unavailable man. The phrase “Teflon prick” captured my attention. I saw the back of a friend’s head, and it felt good that someone came to hear me in the reading. He’s a playwright and enjoys all kinds of readings. I was really glad to be able to take the seat by him and try to relax.
Big Mike, for those familiar with him, went up first and did a piece on cunnilingus. He referred to himself as a connoisseur. It was hard to get someone to want to follow him. If I remember correctly, the brave Cynthia Toronto went up next, and the reading went rolling along. I enjoyed Ron Kolm’s two short prose pieces very much.
At one point, I leaned over to my friend and said, “What I brought to read pales in comparison.” Though he didn’t know what I brought, he began to disagree with me.
When it was my turn, I began with the one I had just written on the train, not yet titled.
When I tell you
something that welcomes
a response, I hear
your loud silence
and it hurts my
The people gave me such an encouraging response which truly lifted my spirits. Then I went on to read Family Blues for the first time at a reading. That was appreciated too. The audience really was emotionally receptive. That was just what I needed. I was so glad to be part of the evening. I read a few other poems, and since it was the weekend of Mother’s Day, I had to read one I wrote about sixteen years ago.
My son shows me the full moon
thrill traveling throughout his little body
like the moon was given to him
as a gift, which, I guess it was
I jumble numbers in my head
& refund bottles
dig for lost coins in my lining
try to determine
whether we need diapers
more than milk or milk more
to get through this night
Then there’s the moon
my boy’s face
pearls against the night sky
both so perfect
I have to smile
I ended with a different poem about learning to love myself coming late. It felt good to read. That was another one I hadn’t yet read at a reading until that night. When I stepped down, several poets in the audience made contact physically. I felt grateful at their willingness to connect with me over a number of things. In my gratitude, I made physical contact with several as well. When I reached my friend, I said, “It turned out so well. I often worry about the wrong things.” Nothing paled.
And the poem line of someone else’s that I took home with me was from Boni Joi: “…don’t worry about the dark energy that flows through everything.”
(c) Mindy Matijasevic 2014