I was able to read twice last week. Yay Poetry! On Sunday at the Peregrine Reading series as a guest speaker with three other women featured in the recent VoiceCatchers Literary Journal and the Thursday before that, I went to my favorite open mic, Ghost Town in downtown Vancouver (the name makes total sense if you have ever walked in Vancouver). The lovely and talented Tiffany Burba-Schramm records all of the Ghost Town open mics, as well as many events hosted by our local poet laureate Christopher Luna and his lovely wife Toni Partington-Luna. I am on the 4th video, which is below. Just before me is Michael C. Guimond who is well worth the listen! Seriously, he is one of my favorite local poets. His style gives a glorious punch that leans all the way into slam territory. His performance has the guts I hope to possess some day, and he always leaves me smiling.
Having Mike and I read back to back is a wonderful example of why Ghost town is great. There is such diversity in the style and content of the writers! If you keep listening, you will hear story-telling poems, sonnets, limericks, poetic history, futuristic imagery, legit slam poems, rants, fan fiction poetry, beat poets, politi-poems, the Greats recited, and song poetry in all it's splendor. In fact, if you enjoy what you hear, go and watch all the videos. I will link them below. I am on video #4, which is above, so I will just post Ghost Town (GT) videos # 1,2,3,5, and 6 below. Ghost town is a lively evening with lots of spectacular writers, and May was a fun night. There was even a little drunken drama, which has never happened before, and I doubt will happen again. See if you can find it!
All these events, and the way I am attempting to build my life as I re-stack the rubble I have created, point to an attempt to live a poetic life. If you watch any of the videos, you will quickly see that poetry is not pretty, delicate, or tidy. No, I am not aiming for a life of serene perfection (wouldn't that be nice?). I am striving for more authenticity. Sometimes that will be bare knuckled bleeding. Sometimes that is texting raw novels to a friend in the middle of the night. Sometimes that is slowing down to appreciate the black capped chickadee that has nested in the tree near our porch. Sometimes that is fighting, really fighting, to get at the underbelly of pain we are living with. Sometimes it is leaping at adventure when it comes my way. Sometimes it is striving to see outside my self and help. Sometimes it is sinking my fingers deep in the soil or making lavish meals in my very modest home. Sometimes, it is sitting very silent. Always, it must be honest. Even honest about when I am not honest.
I hope I can incorporate this way of life into my work, not just on the page, but also with my children, my partner, and work in my future.
Also with the horses I groom, the wild animals I meet, the people that hold anger against me, the people that have needs greater then me. I want renewed eyes to behold them all in words and heart. I want this poetic life.
Erin is a doula, writer, mother to men, and teacher on permanent hiatus. She loves how writing connects us and thrives on the bright edges of human experience.