Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Reading

I sat in the aisle seat
(the better to escape if need be)
Another woman munched a salad
  crunch, crunch, 
    chew
at the far end of my aisle.
I was late for the workshop;
the workshop ran late for me.
The poets would be along momentarily.

Frozen in the room lights
I glanced at vibrant scarves
draped limply along drab walls.
They could have been hung
  dramatically
with flair to fill this room
and the voices that would ring
with words
  dramatically...

Instead I hid behind
my unbelonging, my newness
that clung to me like
the pinched pins
that suffered the colours
meant to infuse the space,
this gathering of bards

I punched at my phone,
glanced at the empty lectern
and side-eyed my solitary seatmate

til the lights dimmed

And then the words rang out
staccato song
followed by aggrandized soliloquies
pretentious prose that elicited
  ...titters
  silence...
and awesome thought.

I related,
Belonged
and clapped along with poetasters alike.

But the house lights cast me aside anew
and I fled.

There was no belonging to the chummy chattering that erupted around me.
No faces to smile into nor laugh with.
No comment on the prose
we were so blessed to consider that night.
Just a cold car,
my single key
and a lonesome home
once more

Will I dare return again?


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