A Poetry Reading @ Poetry Express
The restaurant was quiet and church-like. The wait staff and cooks outnumbered the guests. I walked towards the back and found a banquet room where a half dozen people sat quietly eating. They sat at one of the two long banquet tables in a kind of solemn thanksgiving.
The woman hosting who’d emailed me sometime earlier, approached and introduced herself. I sat down and waited for the program to start. The man next to me whom I’d known for years, took out a folder and removed a painting of his mother whom earlier this year had died. The painting was of her as a younger woman and he told me that she’d been a professional opera singer in her youth. When he caught me writing out some brief notes, he announced aloud I was left handed. I remembered the story my mom told me that when I was a baby and she was letting me try to feed myself, she would take the food or utensil out of my left hand and put it in my right and she said I would just throw it down and not eat anything in frustration. He in turn talked about how in even older days left-handedness was discouraged and many youngsters were forcibly made to use their right. Once I sat in a college lecture and the desk in the auditorium was so tiny and so obviously intended for a right hander’s comfort, I gave up and used the writing tablet of the desk next to me to keep notes. Then someone behind me stage whispering to someone else to ‘look’…
The room was intimate enough to where there was no need for a open mic sheet. Anyone could just stand and do their reading for up to five minutes. After 20 minutes of open, I was given the floor. It was nice having a couple of people I knew, one a wonderful poet and the other a former co-worker whom I ran into on Bart the previous week, walk in and join the proceedings. I laid my phone down on the table next to me and recorded it. It was a wonderful, fun and positive reading of new poems. The recording came out nicely.