Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The Debut of The Inspired Word on Monday Night!
I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out:
Delicious food and wine!
And a great chemistry between us all!
Thanks so much to our gracious and amazingly talented poets: Caroline Berger, Lea Graham, Amy Holman, and Alexandra Lukens.
Our MCs: Foster Stevenson and Marron Cox.
Vic Fiallo, the owner of our glorious venue, Tierra Sana Restaurant.
To all those who supported us by attending!
Below are a sampling of poems from our brilliant readers:
1,500 Parakeets Rescued from 2-room Apartment
By Amy Holman
In flight, the veterinarians said, nets
bulging with crossly chirping green and blue.
To see a parakeet in a dream bets
you lack initiative and spontaneity,
are immature and dependent, need a new
idea. That bored old retiree
bought and bred the birds until
the rooms were full; popcorn in a foil tent.
So close in flight their feathers frill
and down the floor -- what pastel loft
for pillows sadly spent
with acrid poo. Neighbors coughed
and called, but man was dependent
on the chirping flock of green and blue
crisscrossing his plaster firmament.
Still, breeding lovebirds breaks convention
when pals are playing golf. A foiled intent
for extra cash beyond his pension
stutters in the fluttering hearts of greeting.
It's immature to capture birds
in buildings, not to sweep, or hear their pleading,
yet, the vets said the parakeets were freely flying.
Seven hours of casting nets and foul words,
then releasing to shelters in Berlin and outlying.
I write in a 2-room apartment and find
all the perches parakeets take purchase
of from shelves to frames to cluttered mind
and the screeching has no volume control.
It has verses, beats, and searches
for more — a hole, or the sky to extol?
They must have flown in shifts.
Cops arrested the retiree for captured birds.
Think how many parakeets will be yuletide gifts
this year. Call them Budgies like in Down Under,
divided into pairs for special purchase.
Who decides with whom? Yet another blunder.
Wing tangled nets of blue and green
give way to days spent sadly
adjusting. Where's the man we've always seen?
By Caroline Berger
She and she are at the sea. The sea makes them shiver. The sea is the ocean, and the ocean is on their lips, and they drink tequila shots, suck on limes, suck on their lips, sit on the beach on the sand by the ocean. They are salted by the sea. They are limbs and limes and lips and sometimes they allow themselves to be washed out to sea. The taste of the sea, what is it? The first she talks of the first taste of the sea. Oh, she says she said, salt. Salt in the sea is surprising to she. This first sea of which she speaks was the warm, warm sea in the center between the south and the north, an El Salvador sea. The second she--she admits, most unabashedly--had a habit, as a small she, of drinking the sea. A hazard of swimming, said she. A hazard of breathing, said she. There is air, there is sea, it was all the same to me. And she did not only imbibe the sea, it seems any body of water would sate the she. The second she sipped lake, sipped pond, sipped ocean and river and creek and even chlorinated pool as she swam, such a swimmer was she. The second she took quite seriously the ninety-eight percent of her self that was—in essence—sea that, should the sea contain salt, or not, it hardly mattered to she. The sea was so much a part of the she that the she no longer noticed the sea she swallowed and swallowed endlessly. But back to the sea and the shes and the sun and the sand. Before the sand and the shots and the limbs and limes and salty lips, the shes were at sea. To be at sea, said the first she, is to be uncertain. Certainly, said the second she, swallowing more sea. Are you sure, said the first she, it is wise to contain so much sea? The second she was sure indeed. But since the sun did not warm the sea quite so thoroughly, this is when the shes came out of the sea. Now instead of sea there is sand. Now there is the sand underneath the shes, and above there are the limbs of the girls and the skin of the girls and the salty sandy youth of the girls scuttling into the sea. The she and the she watch the girls, are in love with the girls, want to suck out the youth of the girls just as they suck their limes and lips as they sit by the sea. The second she talks of the taste of youth. Oh, she says she said, youth. But not really. Because when youth was youth she couldn't say it was youth, only later did she know what it would be. Unlike the salt of the sea, you can't taste youth when you're in youth. Only later. Sitting by the sea with your she. See it go. There it goes. The youth, the shes, the salt, all into the sea, the sea, the sea.
A Crush for Lennie Briscoe
By Lea Graham
O finding comfort in Lennie Briscoe wisecracking
over dead bodies, an apartment in midtown, the city
buzzing, hurtling around him & Ed Green
or before that Rey Curtis & years before that delicious
Mike Logan played by Chris Noth whose eyebrows
we want to frame & hang on a blue wall
Desperation is a sexy rendition of sadness, a body walled
up & stinking, a smell that cracks
open a desire for romance, that girl’s eyebrows
arched just so like a body traced on a street, any city,
her hair splayed, a blue skirt hiked seductively, delicious,
we whisper to ourselves, envious as Green.
In his 69 year-old heart, Jerry Orbach as Briscoe is green,
youthful as Julian Marsh singing “42nd Street,” waltzing
his talent through the years into that ironically delicious
role, a swarthy grandpa growing up through the cracks
of New York, a city that sleeps with everyone, a city
whose eyes raise in circumspect uni-brow.
He would understand our malaise at browsing
the Times, lie waiting for a friend to stroll in strapped in green
fruit & blue flowers, the scoop and arteries of this city
like a painting we once admired on a dealer’s wall,
a moment of sun & motes, a confluence of feeling, a crack
in the horsehair beneath, her grizzled twang from the next room: deeeelish
On swollen days our mother would take us to Luscious Delite
an homage to that clown hugging the cone piercing blue, eyebrows
gummed in chocolate, we argued, wiggled & cracked wise
those summer Mays as if memory would always remain green,
our photos, gathered heights on the wall,
our parents’ shah-lah-lah, an innocence that was our city
spewing us unprepared as Briscoe answering a call from the city,
his daughter shot dead, the grief & delicious
ooh as he sags against Curtis, who invites him home to wallow
in sadness that will never, in following episodes, leave his eyes:
each girl arranged on the sidewalk, some father’s green
failure ripe for every scene’s wisecrack—
O Lenny Briscoe, our gaudy, sporty, wisecracking father, in this city
where we love you walled in green possibility on the blue avenue
your eyebrows take us skipping deliciously reeling to night’s dancing feet
and then it was just me and the 1975 Datsun 280z
By Alexandra Lukens
He and I had to pull off, legs fusing to hot vinyl seats
Sweating for liquor and bodies
Inside there, anonymous musicians, all mustached
Played comically oversized instruments
Music so filling the air, I could kiss it hello and goodbye as it passed all around me
Something like the hostess of a party touching your shoulder and a smile
Passing from guest to guest in greeting
On the floor in front of the makeshift stage
A cello was cracked wide open; its player lay dead inside
The corpse on ice with the beers
Someone dropped a coin into the mediated jukebox in the rear
Drawing themselves up as some unfulfilled caricature of constant starvation
So he and I swallowed down liquor
Dug our fingers through men in tuxedos and tails
Ladies burlesque and long, velvet gloves
Fingered through heavy curtains into an hourless outside
Settled back into sticky vinyl seats Gassing towards the next best show
And, oh, the car was quite the thing
Representation of an extreme state
His vision as driver was not privileged, flocking to view something different from the same
He and I, we knew desolation a diminishing resource
The places that harbored quiet, where nothing was happening
He and I exhausted from, terrified
These places could cause acclimation to stagnancy and fuse skin to vinyl
Those places made me feel sticky, him the same
Thus swearing to seek out some underbelly where the behind-the-times folks played
Where men wore too much, the women too little, and even better vice versa
And everyone wore powder on their cheeks
He and I sought those denied cabaret laws
Where men amused one another by tucking their genitals between their legs
Parading on makeshift stages lifting their petticoats and strutting
Music so loud one needn’t tongue for conversation, only liquor and sweat
Many nights he and I drove past barren into vehicular silence
Promising each other to never let thighs get too sweaty on the car seats
Until another curtained door appeared just before the sun broke ground
He and I fingered through heavy fabrics & birthed into a room
Hundreds shoulder to shoulder to crotch to crotch to hands & tongues &
silly hats & glittering masks, a piano played itself so loud
He and I ordered liquor through tin cans on string stretching from every corner
Even to the bartender, a dwarf in an exaggerated top hat
Sweat so thick in the air my lips chapped and cracked
I could feel the sodium in the space between my mouth and his
As if I had lost him at a crowded, sticky, salty beach and I heard a wave break somewhere
I reached for his hand among too many gloves laced and leather
I looked around and only saw masks and I called for him into the can but he answered in French
And soon I found him in the corner with a young pretty boy in his lap
his fingers in the boy’s mouth, the boy’s mask on his face, his hand lifting the boy’s petticoat
rubbing his tucked and hidden genitals
I knew he would not leave with me that night rather fused to the ass of this boy and here
Even amidst the music he dropped a coin into some jukebox
Succumbed to stagnancy but found it a pleasant sort of sticky
Stay here, I told him, I am going ahead
And took with me a pair of long lace gloves a sequined mask shining red slippers
Slid through the curtains and into the car removed all my clothes
Naked I pulled on the gloves slid on slippers fastened the mask
pulled needle and thread from the glove box Slowly carefully stitched each garment into my skin
The slippers first needle through satin through foot skin and back through satin until fused
Gloves sewn into the forearm skin crisscrossing to be sure of a strong hold against movement
Mask stitched into my cheeks around eyes thin forehead skin fused to my face eyes peeking
With the remaining thread sewed bare sticking leg skin into the hot vinyl seats
Vehicle and body completely fused by sweat and stitching
I would never again have to stand the discomforts of
Peeling my sticky thighs from these sticky seats
So I drove on bypassing curtained doorways
found facing dawn for the very first time
I came upon a deserted beach and drove onto the sand
vast abundance outside my windshield
Inside self-imposed deprivation unable to touch, car and I stitched to each other
This sand this water taste salt not of sweat but of sea
All day we sat parked and stitched with each other
Sweat and salt stinging the punctures where skin and hot vinyl fused with thread
Sun peaked and took time dipping as the water went out of our site
For miles it seemed we drove forward
as far we could to see where the water had gone
We found it two miles out from shore and sat with it
just touching our tires
Though the tide began swimming back in toward the shore
I did not move us
We sunk ourselves into the sand, fusing
The water rose on every side of us
It felt cool, soothed our stitches
Washed away the sticky sweat
Filled our engine then our lungs