Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wonderful Poetry Reading at "Your Vine or Mine" in Painesville

I was a featured poetry reader along with my friend Tobin Terry at the micro-winery in downtown Painesville, Ohio, this past Tuesday. Our reading took place at the winery/restaurant "Your Vine or Mine." The atmosphere was wonderful: good food, wine, and poetry. The evening began with four people reading at the "open microphone." The included Alynn Mahle, Robin Flowers, and Ryan Manista. I didn't catch the name of the other reader. Their readings were wonderful. I especially liked a new poem Robin wrote called "My Father's Watch," or something like that. Alynn's poems were also quite good, as usual. Ryan read publicly for the first time, and it went very well. He is already a very skilled poet.

I followed the open mic readers and read/performed the following poems:

1. October in Willoughby, 1958
2. Cat Nation Ghosts [a poem about the annihilation of the Erie Indians]
3. Remnants [of the Cat Nation]
4. Before the Invention of Safety [about growing up in the 1950s]
5. "I'm from Painesville, with an Emphasis on the Pain!" an Elegy for Mike Celizic
6. Old Math: The Calculus of May 4, 1970 [about the Kent State killings]
7. Just Under the Surface [on the culture of guns in Chardon and the Chardon High School killings]
8. The Chase [about my old beagle-dog, Jake]
9. Toothpaste Violence [how we squeeze every drop out of the toothpaste tube in my house]
10. Whiff of Despair [haiku about the coming of fall]
11. Northern Lights
12. One Happy Moment [portrait of my daughter Carolan and grandson Colin doing cartwheels at Patterson Apple Farm in Chesterland]

I got to sing a bit and howl like a beagle as I performed some of these poems--great fun!

My performance was followed by Tobin Terry. Many of Tobin's poems were funny, especially the one about the Johnnycake Turkey, "Mr. Gobbles." And the brilliant one about his mother, "Nursery Crimes." Tobin sang much of that poem. This is one of my all-time favorite poems.

The "Your Vine or Mine poetry reading, organized by Margie DeLong, and co-hosted by Margie and Tobin, will occur on the first Tuesday of every month from now on. The next one will be Tuesday, November 5th, from 6:30 to 8:30. The featured poet will be Grace Curtis, from Waynesville, Ohio.

Thanks to Margie for getting this going!

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