‘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……
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
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.