Monday, September 20, 2010

On, In and Around Mondays: City of Words

Bowery Poetry What the Hell?

"What the hell is going on here?"

Those are not my words. They are painted on the window of the Bowery Poetry Club. And somehow make me smile.

Imagine, a club in New York City that makes its way by sharing words. Verses spoken, barely breathed, or belted out. Verses sung. Poetry in notes, drum beats, guitar strums, the ache of voices rising, falling.

On Friday night, I became part of "what is going on here." I tried to give poetic voice to grief, love, beauty, laughter. Maxidus answered me with his own poems. We built a rhythm of words. Me, then him. Me, then him. A conversation in verse.

As we came to our last poems, musicians moved to their places one by one, and added their sound to our words. Cello, drums, bass. It felt deep, moving, inexplicably spiritual. We finished speaking. Crossed paths with singers. And a different kind of poetry took our place...

Bowery Poetry-Brooke's Guitar

When I wasn't reading poetry, I was looking at walls. Walls of paper sculpture. Walls of mirror, artful graffiti. All of part of "what is going on here."

Bowery Poetry Paper Sculpture

In the bathroom, I found a self-portrait opportunity. A way to merge with the walls, and this city of words.

Bowery Poetry Ladies Room

Who made this night possible? The Village Church. And a city where a Club has fashioned walls to embrace words.

Bowery Poetry Club Sign

Bowery Poetry Club photos, by L.L. Barkat.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place.

Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below. If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

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Anonymous Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

We have a club in town where you can share your songs/poetry. I've occasionally debated doing such a thing, but always chickened out. Good for you, for putting yourself out there!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am looking forward to listening to this.
What an intriguing place.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

"Walls to embrace words."

Way cool, L.L.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

It's just one of many reasons I love NYC.

Glad you had a marvelous reading.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

And I missed the live stream, even after I asked you about it. blah. I keep waiting for that ever resourceful Glynn to post some famously smart way to listen after-the-fact.

Poetry is meant to be read out loud, I think. And by the poet herself? that's a pretty cool gift.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

Perhaps I should just start a club in my country home....

That looks like a fascinating place to spend time

1:42 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

Okey-dokey. I've posted my link.

Great photos. Looks like everybody -- you included -- had a delicious time. Since you were able to perform, you must be feeling stronger, healthwise, than you were. Hooray!

May God bless and guide and encourage you today.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poetry club . . . I can't imagine a better place to belong.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

What Jennifer said.

10:19 PM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:45 PM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

I left a link and I rambled for a few paragraphs. My sense of place took place Saturday night where I caught blessing after blessing--His hands to mine.

Being a country girl, your adventure seems a tad frightening to me. Did you pack some hand-sanitizer?

I love imagining words set adrift by mouths...
before being filtered by ears and hearts...
before being embraced by walls.


11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...sigh... I used to live in Austin, a town in which this kind of thing would have been welcomed, even commonplace. I have now moved to the suburbs of Houston, which have a way of homogenizing and franchising anything that strays into them. Radiohead already provided a fitting soundtrack:

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

I'm thankful that the internet provides a venue for creativity from the outside to get in. Any chance we can see a video or hear a recording of the event?

12:35 PM  
Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

Wow, that is one groovy place. I don't think place like that grow in Nebraska. Maybe someone needs to plant one here?

1:50 PM  
Blogger MAXIDUS said...

wow... i really don't know what to say, but thank you for this post and your thoughts and reflections on such a beautiful night as it was. i enjoyed reading and interacting with you. loved how the dim of the lights set the mood for both words and music... i could go on and on, but again will say thank you for sharing this moment with me and those who came to experience... something... special.

(the video is on the way ;)

10:24 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

sounds like nice place to be and see!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell is going on here?

I am just grinning, seeing that you were able to open up a post with those gritty words.

I wish I was there. Maybe one of these days I will show up in the audience. So glad for these opportunities you have to share your poetry in spoken word.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Jim Martin said...

L.L., so glad that you had this opportunity. From your post, this sounds like quite an experience. Good for you!

11:28 AM  

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