I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

there's a lesson here

Ok I just have to tell you real quick what happened last night. Friend and I went to Saratoga Springs to see a bunch of poets. There's a sign-up sheet at the door, for the open mic portion, and somewhere in the middle of the line-up you get to hear a whole half hour of the featured poet. Caffe Lena is a legendary spot, it has great vibes, and Carol Graser is a great host/poet of the event.

I didn't bring any knitting because I thought I'd be good and I thought Yes I can sit there and actually Not Knit for 2 hours. It's poetry, I might take some notes along the way, and I didn't want to make the poets think I wasn't listening. Besides whoever heard of anybody knitting at a poetry event?

There were about 23 poets in all, quite the list, and as varied as the day is long. I had no trouble whatsoever listening, without my knitting in hand.

The featured reader appeared somewhere in the middle, and I shall not mention her name lest there be any repercussions, after all she is published several times in real volumes with ISBNs on them and all that. She has won awards (though I don't know which, they didn't say). Excitement and expectation grew.

I didn't bring any knitting, and I was OK with it.

The first poem skillfully talked about a certain type of pasta and stood for entangled lovers. No I am not doing this justice here at all because it really was a good poem. The whole thing was read in a type of sing song which matched the cadence of the poem beautifully, it sounded like an Italian folk ballad and was quite charming.

I was OK without my knitting.

The next poem --- oh I forget the title; it doesn't matter. ALL the poems were good. Very well crafted. I was going to lead up to it slowly for you to appreciate the small sense of torture, but I just have to come right out and tell you that ALL the poems were recited in the Italian folk ballad style. Really quite maddening, because none of them were Italian folk ballads.

And I didn't bring my knitting.

I was a bit chilly and draped my jacket around the front of me, which allowed me to wring my hands unbeknownst to others. I couldn't stop thinking about the sock I wasn't knitting at that moment. The drapes which darkend the windows where mauve colored in alternating shiny/matte stripes, and they made me think of knitting patterns. The bit of brick wall off to the side reminded me of knitting patterns. The sing song continued, there was almost no way to listen past it. Metaphors got lost in it, the ear just couldn't get to them.

Some people had to suddenly get up and use the bathroom, Friend across the table gave in to yawning fits. I picked away at imaginary hang nails under my jacket.

She did eventually finish, and I even considered buying that volume of poems, just to be able to read the work over and really see the words. But I know that that voice would come through every time I looked at those poems....which is really too bad. Poet Falls Victim To Own Voice.

And I SWEAR I will never travel without sock knitting in my purse ever again.


Dan Wilcox said...

Yes, bring your knitting -- I thought the sing-song voice worked best with the Invective Against the Bumblebee & just got tiresome aftet that. Great to see you there.
(don't use the Juno email address for me, use the earthlink one.)

SpiderWomanKnits said...

I seriously feel your pain having been in similar situations. Never leave home without the bag ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've learned to ALWAYS bring my knitting. I may leave it in the car - but it's there ... just in case. I'm even contemplating bringing my sock to a Nascar race this weekend. I'm really enjoying your entries. Is there anything you can't do?


Anonymous said...

I, too, was there. I am not a knitter, but I think I should have been doing something with my hands because for some reason I began encircling them around my neck, and then I wanted to squeeze until I lost consciousness. I actually did buy her books. I thought she was an excellent poet and I really believe in supporting poets (especially since I'd like people to buy my book, as well). (I'm the poet who read "The River Stout" and "The Feminization of George W. Bush.") I tell you - the value of that night was not lost on me. You can be a great poet, but if you can't present your work well, you might as well stay inside. Open mics do give you that practice - to present well. Thanks for your very astute observations. Mimi Moriarty

melanie said...

Good to see you've learned your lesson, young lady! Now don't you ever leave the house without your socks!

(It's the "mother" that rages in all of us, sorry)

Anonymous said...

Were we at the same reading? I thought the featured poet was terrific--not only a wonderful poet but also a wonderful reader. She was certainly by far the best reader there. Mimi's poems were memorable but she isn't even close to being the level of reader as the featured poet.
Perhaps you people are really just interested in your own open reading.
Perhaps, Karin, you should stick to knitting. I also noticed that the poet was generous enough to sit through the entire open reading.

Vivian said...

How interesting the way you described the poet reading all her poems in Italian ballad style. There are books that I've listened to and then when I read them the readers voice always rings in my head.

Bonnie E. said...

Lol, bring the knitting! Even if you never pull it out, it calms the mind just knowing it's there if you need it. Kind of a security blanket for knitters-- a harmless little sock with many, many stitches to be knit.