There is an escaped robber somewhere in the bi-state area. Despite every danger, I have gone outside and returned safely. I need to stop listening to the news. I could have taken the dog for a walk without piling on any additional fears. There is plenty of threat on an ordinary day! For instance, the dog is color blind and does not regard red lights as any more significant than green. She leans towards traffic with a careless disregard for her own three-dimensionality. And given her height challenges--she barely rises above my ankles--I have to wonder if the ordinary car driver or lawless skateboarder can see her in time to avoid a calamitous collision. Plus she tries to eat hazardous roadside materials. She sniffs strangers and who knows what kind of weirdos they are? Worst of all, no matter where we go, someone says "ooooh, cute, a hotdog doggie!" I just told the hound we are no longer going to go into an orange alert state based on breaking news threats, besides, she doesn't see orange and only eats fruit if there is nothing else better to chew.
I read a poem at the Fall Marsh Hawk Press launch a few weeks ago and four short poems at the annual Brevitas Festival last weekend. I have now done enough readings that fear is at a low throttle, could be classified as excitement. My pulse goes up, I take a deep breath, brush aside an urge to flee or pee and then I am behind a podium and I have a wobbly faith that the words I wrote will not let me down. Then I start to enjoy reading my own work because it sounds right in my mouth. It only took a few decades. My very first reading, at an open mic at the Columbia U. Bookstore, I was so hyped I spoke in a freaky high voice at twice the speed of Minnie Mouse. And by the time my voice stopped racing my audience was snoring. Gotta start somewhere.
I am writing again. Poems and prose. In dribs. Drabs. Dabs. While listening to jazz violin. Something about syncopation and the almost voice of a fiddle. Wish I could write that sound. Draw that beat. Tried. Not in me. I will leave great jazz poetry to the folks that have a better ear. But I can listen, oh, yes, I can.