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Poetry Reading After Action Report 4/14/2011

There was a decent turnout at the poetry reading last night. There was a nice mix of regulars and newcomers.

I had bought two memorial haiku. One of them was for Elizabeth Taylor. The other was something a little different. Jonathan, the MC, had shaved off his beard. This was a pretty big event, because he'd had a beard the entire 12 years I knew him.

I frequently bring something to read before the poetry reading starts. Last night I had brought Samuel Johnson's Rasselas, Poems, And Selected Prose. I was reading Rasselas, and happened to come across the following wonderful quote about poetry:

To a poet nothing can be useless. Whatever is beautiful and whatever is dreadful must be familiar to his imagination: he must be conversant with all that is awfully vast or elegantly little.

Reading these words right before the poetry reading started was quite the happy accident. I decided to open my recitation with that quote.

My turn at mic came after about the fifth reader. I read the quote from Rasselas, and then my haiku.

Elizabeth Taylor

Maggie taking her
Stockings off. A memory
That lives forever

Jonathan’s Beard

Jonathan’s bare face
Is almost like a koan
It’s wind without air

For those unfamiliar, the allusion in the Elizabeth Taylor haiku is to a scene in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Jonathan and I discussed it after the poetry reading.  He chuckled a little and said "that was considered really racy back then."

It's not racy anymore. But it's still damn sexy. Judge for yourself: