RECHARGING MY BATTERIES: On Friday night I went to hear the brilliant Yusef Komunyakaa and Natasha Trethewey at the Carter Library here in Atlanta. For most of March, I had been feeling kind of blah about the poetry scene and my own writing. Most poets go through highs and lows in their creativity and March has been a low point for me. I've been writing, but it's been some awful shit. I've let it sit for a few days and come back to it and the work is still terrible. Luckily, Yusef and Natasha saved March for me. They inspired me and recharged my poetry batteries.

Natasha read new work from her forthcoming collection Native Guard, where she mixes the personal with the historical about growing up in Mississippi. Beautiful work, in both free verse and form. Then Yusef got up and read and his work about Vietnam is so strong. His speaking voice is somewhere between Sidney Poitier and a Louisiana preacher, but I found myself closing my eyes and just luxuriating in his words. Both of these poets nearly moved me to tears. I would have to say this is the best poetry reading I've been to all year. To be moved and inspired in the span of an hour is a hot night of poetry in my book. I rushed home and did a rough draft of a poem and then started a second poem. Big love to Yusef and Natasha for reminding me what poetry is all about, and to Yusef for reading a poem he had composed the day before. Another great not afraid to read his poetry still in progress.

On Saturday afternoon, I went all the way up to Kinko's in Buckhead to have photos taken so I can renew my passport (which expires in two weeks). I'm planning on heading over to the UK in the fall for gigs, to see friends and hopefully meet or see Kate Bush perform. Fingers, toes and legs crossed. Then I went and met Malory and some other friends for dinner at One Midtown Kitchen. Mal has just finished her first novel (she's been writing it for more than a decade), so we were all celebrating. She's already sending queries out to agents and discovering the heartbreak of rejection. Chin up, Mal. There's more to come before you get that first nibble. The food was very good and the conversation was mostly about music, reality tv and a little Terri Schiavo.

Speaking of Schiavo, her parents have now lost 30 court cases and basically threw in the towel over the weekend. Not so the religious right, which has hijacked the case and won't let it go. Rev. Patrick Mahoney said he would push Republican leaders in Washington to subpoena Schiavo to appear before Congress. What the fuck???!!! While I believe it his physically impossible for her to be moved at this stage of her dying process, the fact that this nut job would even consider such a thing is heinous in every way. Mahoney and the religious right (I'm about a day away from calling them a cult) believe that Schiavo's feeding tube will have to be reinserted if she's subpoenaed. Unfuckingbelievable. Not only do you have Mahoney, but you've also got anti-abortion whack job Randall Terry, who has made himself spokesman for Schiavo's family, railing about how Terri is bleeding from the eyes and mouth on her deathbed. This kind of rhetoric is ridiculous and the fact that Terri's family is allowing it is further proof of just how delusional with grief they really are. Terri Schiavo has been off the feeding tube for ten days...her death is probably only a matter of hours and days. Let her go.

Comments

Teamaster said…
I own Komunyakaa's MAGIC CITY, a splendid book.

You might dig another poet: Cornelius Eady. All I've read is his YOU DON'T MISS YOUR WATER (1995), but it's worthy enough to recommend.

-D.
Anonymous said…
Blogger is being a total bitch. I've been trying to post for a day or two and it just now let me. I love Komounyakka's stuff. Glad you got to hear him.

TJ

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