Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Crowd Gathers for John O’Dell and Katy Richey

John O’Dell treated us to a fine selection of his poetry, including this one, from a visit he took to Alaska. (Click on “Archibald MacLeish” in the epigraph to learn more about MacLeish in DC)

Asking More
“Do you ask more? Do you ask to travel forever?”
Archibald MacLeish in Tourist Death

Not long before he died, my father
went north, bored his Studebaker
through a wide redwood, puzzled over
The Trees of Mystery, posed my mother
before totems, trading posts, then beside
a Mounty, the milky waters of Lake Louise.

Now, I approach the sheer wall of years
he stood upon when he made that trip.
I, too, find myself following a needle’s
northern urge, looking at Raven’s wooden
preening, hearing his hoarse morning cries,
the afternoon thunder of calving ice.

Salmon shove against a creek’s unyielding
flow, fight for and win the death that birth
ordains, and in their spawning, outruns.
I stand halfway across a Ketchikan bridge
refusing the river’s infallible instruction.
In steady drizzle, in silence, I ask for more.

Next, Katy Richey’s poems graced the evening.Searching and playful, mysterious and direct--from “charlotte,” observations on the baby spiders in Charlotte’s Web, to a set of poems on the body: breasts, penis envy, blood pressure, Katy overcame a finicky sound system to deliver her poems with style. Please visit more of Katy’s poems in Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

The open mic brought our evening to a satisfying close, as dusk set in and moved to dark and we headed up the hill to the reception site. A number of our readers have a web presence, and this week I’ll offer a link to Elliot Perlin’s book, Like the Trailings of a Comet on an Endless Journey.

There were over thirty in the audience on Tuesday, a perfect July evening for poetry at Miller Cabin.

Please join us next week for Sheila Black and Charles E. Wright:
Tuesday, July 8 at 7:30.

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