Another strong, eclectic line up of fine writers at Plasticine Poetry last night. After a the initial open stagers (including myself) the first feature was Julia Zarankin. She read her short story The Chestnut Roast -an amusing, insightful tale of displacement and fitting in. Finding a slow cooking festival our heroine is lost, driving through Missouri back roads looking for a landscape that reminds her of home. Fine attention to clothing, food, & people met along the way made for rich and tender story – I loved ‘buying directly from farmers makes me feel like I’ve done manual labor.’
Next up was Margot Lettner who read from her project about Elizabeth Simcoe (1790’s). The pieces were excerpts from Simoce’s writing combined seamlessly with Margot’s. ‘then being a love of little things.’ She read in a slow carefully paced way giving each word attention – a nice change from readers who flood you with rapid images too fast to form even a mental image. ‘If we had tea/what would we talk about?’ Probably the royal baby.
After the break the second set was started by Lisa Young with a Ray Carver cover piece. Some new pieces with her fine sense of image ‘drink the night on a shadowy cup.’ Her poetry is very narrative, telling stories of life in everyday language then suddenly unfolds into powerful moments – ‘I listen to the rapids/ all those wants and needs gather there/ saying: Pick me! Pick me!’
Richard Glen Lett (aka Optimus Rhyme) closed the night with a great, energetic set that made is clear why he is a slam champion. ‘if you want to disappear without a trace: Canadian entertainment,’ telling a bill collector ‘when all the birds die who pays for it’ His piece about Tom Waits ‘Tom’s Angels’ about getting sober & still creating, name checks all of my own drunken heroes and ends ‘Tom’s angels did not leave him once his piano stopped drinking.’ A great rollicking set.
As always Cathy Petch hosted with the right cleavage, enthusiasm, sass & a helpful hint to how oral sex gets you good slam scores.
City of Valleys now removed for prepublication work.