Friday, August 2, 2013

reading, moon palace books

Getting there was so ridiculous:  waking late from our family nap, Maya asking a string of questions, my forgetting the milk I pumped so Ryan wouldn't have a frantic Finn at the reading, Maya needing me to pull over so she could go potty on the way, feeling late, later, realizing I should have gotten gas, glancing between the clock and the gauge that ticks down miles until empty, wondering which one frightens me more, Maya asking more questions, husband buzzing on the cell phone, wondering where I am, am I close, did I forget wine, yes, Maya asking about the sky and the birds and the trucks zipping by and where the airplanes are going, me thanking myself for flagging poems the night before as there was no way I would get that figured out at the reading, could barely get into any kind of zone, my face flush, my car puttering to a stop, and there, the little bookstore, the clutch of friends and my bag of new chapbooks, ready to sail out into the world.

Meryl read first from her gloriously letterpress-covered chapbook, Dream of a Perfect Interface

Finn was a-bobbing away in my lap, but I did get a wee snippet of video of Meryl reading--

Valerie Wetlaufer read from her chapbook, which will be part of her full-length coming out from Sibling Rivalry Press.

(Meryl took this photograph of me.  And Maya.  <3)  Maya came up to me when I went to the front of the room and said, "What'cha doin', mama?"  And I told her I was reading some poems to an audience.  When I was done and Eireann started, she asked, "You all done, mama?" and Eireann said something like almost or nearly.

And Maya got to eat a lot of Belgian cookies.  And chocolate.

And the poets went out to Pizza Luce, where we talked about Utah and how AWP is the driving force for getting poets to visit anywhere that is not a relative's home.  It was simply nice to be out with kindred spirits.

I wrote a bit on Facebook about bringing Maya and Finn to the reading.  They both were moderately well-behaved.  Maya kept darting to the front of the room before Ryan could catch her and instead of chasing, he let her go.  Which could be distracting, yes, and me with my snapping photos; I was a one-woman disruption machine.  I have this oppositional pull:  a need to have my children with me, my loves, my muses, my security blanket, but at the same time, I recognize they are entering a sphere where a poetry reading is a restless entity and not yet old enough to think of it as some kind of interesting.  (What would it be like, to grow up the child of a poet, I'd wonder at the Big Readings.  What would it be like to have so-and-so as a mother, a gasp at the possibility.)

I imagine, for them, it will be some kind of interesting mixed with a lot of ordinary.  My father, the musician.  When I talk about it to friends, it's off-hand.  Oh, he's doing this thing.  In New York City.  Which is really amazing and I'm phenomenally proud of him, but at the same time, from childhood, I was well-used to days spent cantering up and down the aisles of the theatre at rehearsal.

Now, the whole of the world is extraordinary for them, and I'm riding that, pulling it in like taffy into poems, if I can.  And sometimes I get to share the results with lovely friends:  thanks to all who came.

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