Yesterday, I went with a friend to my first poetry reading other than to hear my daughter or son. The featured poet was a lesbian whose work my friend has been reading for over twenty years and that was who she wanted me to hear. There was a rap artist, another woman author and a Seattle man who normally does poetry [in iambic pentameter and rhyme. no less!]. It was held at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle’s Central District, a place and organization that exhibits and promotes the Literary arts.
We found some seats and started looking around. Gabrielle, the woman I came with, thought she saw some people she knew but she wasn’t sure. I didn’t see anyone I knew and didn’t expect to.
The presentation started with Macklemore, a rap artist. He seemed to be pretty good... it was hard for me to tell. His style [maybe it is rap style?] was not real clear for me to hear. I’m not a big rap fan, anyway. He was followed by Keri Healey reading some of her writings. Eric McHenry read a really nice piece about moving back to his hometown of Topeka [a moment of silence for the loss of a great Seattle poet...]
At intermission, my friend went out to stretch her legs. I was just sitting there looking around and saw this tall, innocent-looking blonde kid sitting off to the side. The kid and my son were roommates at college for 5 years! I was pretty sure he saw me and I wondered what to do. I’ve always been concerned about meeting the friends of my kids as myself. I told my friend when she came back. She encouraged me to go say hello. So I did. I said hello and he asked me how I was doing and we chatted for a bit. It went well I thought. I’m not sure what he would say to my son or how my son would take it, but... things are what they are and my son will someday need to accept that this is who I am.
The second half started with Macklemore again and he had some nice stuff really, or I enjoyed it anyway. Macklemore rapped from his awareness of the disparities that exist in our culture. There were some insightful comments in the rap. The headline was Rebecca Brown. She is doing something a little different for her? She said that she was going to be reading from a historical fictional autobiography (?). It was a lyrical telling of an episode set in high school and in Texas and, later, Washington, D.C. I thought it was very good, but this episode ended sadly.
After the last reading, there was buffet and a chance to talk to folks and just take things in. It was a nice evening. I’ve been to readings my son has been involved in which were usually his friends and fellow college students. I’ve never been to this kinda of reading where people who were big in the literary scene. This was alright! I’m not any kind of expert; I just enjoy what I enjoy.
Driving home we talked about our writings [my few] and what we liked. I told her about my son’s writing. When I got home I sent her the url to my favorite poem that my son wrote. He really is a good poet.