How to Be Alone
Last month I joined a local poetry group. Sitting in a lounge with brightly painted walls and an eclectic collection of antiques, I sipped chai tea with milk. Outside snow fell. Over the next two hours poets stepped to the microphone to share their work, reading slowly, allowing each word to linger barely a moment before letting the next word into the air.
I remembered poetry readings at Trent University in the early 1990s. We called ourselves “Down with Melrose.” Every Monday night while Melrose Place was on we met in the residence common room to recite our poems. We snubbed our noses at our dorm-mates who clamored for the best seat in the television room. (FYI: I secretly taped Melrose Place to watch after our reading.) Our evenings always delivered. It seemed magical to listen in a dimly lit room as friends read from their secret journals or chapbooks or high school anthologies. This was my first community of writers.
It had been a long time since I had attended an entire poetry reading. A month ago I remembered how much I love poetry. As each word rolled into the next I felt connected to every writer I had ever known. I have learned over the years that writers are kindred spirits. Creativity spun through the room from the poetry’s momentum pausing at the furniture and the people and the words like a hummingbird, leaving a trail of gold. Continue reading