Today I am sitting in my back yard at a picnic table writing this blog. I am looking at the back of my new/old house that was built in 1947 and was advertised as a Cape Cod when we purchased it a month ago. The clatter from the windows is grating as I watch a man push and pull a large industrial sander over the old oak floors in a desperate attempt to salvage them. He has told me he can make them beautiful and for a small fortune, I have decided to believe him.
I have been counting down the days this project would begin because once it is finished, I can sleep in a real bed and unplug the blow up one I have been sleeping on for three months. Once the floors are done, I can sit on a sofa and not a fold-up outdoor bistro chair. Once the floors are done, I can set up a “real” office and get back to my writing schedule, submit poems, and pay bills, at my neatly organized desk and not at a picnic table with a tote bag for a file cabinet. Once the floors are done, I can have people over for dinner inside the house and I can binge watch Netflix.
But in the meantime, I wait and look up at the large Italian Plum tree in front of me with its purple-blue-skinned fruit hanging thick on old branches. I listen to the Scrub Jay in the spent lilac, the sound of a distant lawn mower, the words in Romanian I do not understand coming from the back bedroom, the whine of a small Fed-Ex plane overhead, the neighbor next door watering his potted plants.
And I wait. For the house to be a bit closer to finished, for my new book of poems, The Lure of Impermanence (Cirque Press) to have its final edit and to not forget a line from a poem in my new book—
Sometimes it’s important to stop—
to imagine a brush filled with Prussian blue
its earthy taste on your tongue
to see a night more richlycolored than day
I am honored to have been invited to read at this event hosted by Nancy Woods, who I first met through Cirque Journal readings in Portland. She is the author of “Hooked on Antifreeze” and has a great sense of humor. I will be reading my poetry, and while most of my poems are not as funny as Nancy’s stories, it should be a good time with good people in a great venue. If you are out and about in Portland, stop on by.
I am delighted to be included once again, in the summer Cirque reading tour. If you are in the Seattle or Portland area, I hope to see you as I will be reading at both events. Come out and help support this beautiful literary journal.
Last Fall my son Sean Taylor, invited me to read poems between sets at one of his shows. He played lovely background music to two of my poems and after that I dubbed us The Poet and the Punk. I am still scheming a documentary about the two of us hitting the road in a Subaru station wagon, making music and poems as we sing or read for a place to stay or eat, but that is another story.
My son is a poet who put his words to music, a talent I envy and admire. This Friday, May 1st, he will be an opening act at Dantes, in Portland, Oregon. Check him out if you get a chance and here is a sampling of his wonderful talent.
I was running for my life
you were always saying run a little faster
I was playing Aces High
I didn’t know the rules
or the outcome I was after
I remember the scene
now the plot unfolds
I was looking for love
you were sniffing out blood
and a place to bury his bones
You were beautiful
like a harvest moon in a devils sky
fading in and out of focus
like disappearing ink
like dreams we had at nineteen
they were never meant to last
yeah you were kerosene
I’m just the fool that lit the match…
I have the honor of reading with many fine Cirque poets in Portland, Oregon on April 10th at TaborSpace. The wonderful line-up includes: Tom Cantwell, Nancy Woods, Paul K. Haeder, Tricia Knoll, Richard LeBlond, Cody Luff, Eric Mertz, and Ann Sihler. If you are in the neighborhood, I would love to see you.