Poetry Readings & ADD

‘Well, write poetry, for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.’

e. e. cummings

I’ve been writing poetry as a practice for over a year now.  It seemed to be a natural progression to attend poetry readings.  My first was in November and then I attended two this past weekend as part of a local poetry festival.  I haven’t been very successful thus far.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become increasingly ADD.  Sitting and listening for long stretches of time is torturous.  When I was teaching middle school, I always kept in mind those students like me, varying activities & interspersing periods of moving around in the classroom. In the adult world, most of the time there are not those opportunities.

Luckily at the end of both readings I attended this weekend, the poets were very animated, funny and irreverent, and provided material I could relate to.

Here is a glimpse into an ADD brain during a poetry reading……

TAMALES

The speaker’s words begin to melt together

the chair feels increasingly uncomfortable

my lower back aches

I sit up straight, change position

Then as I close my sleepy eyes

I feel the secret portal of my brain woosh shut

allowing no more in

Come on, you can do this, I say to myself

Too late.  

Words, sentences, phrases rain down on me

shedding like water off a duck’s back

forming rivulets, then puddles at my feet, then rivers

that flow into the vast ocean of uncomprehended language

I nudge my friend in the seat to my left

I’m done, I say

She says, one more speaker then we get tamales

I sigh and wait for the tamales.

tamales-1990080_1920