During my late teen years, the coffee house grunge scene spread from Seattle to the rest of the country and landed smack dab in the middle of my world; Rochester, Michigan. I was not a huge grunge music fan, nor did I like or drink coffee. I still don’t like or drink coffee. But, all of my old high school friends had transformed from preppy upper middle class kids, to coffee house hermits with unleashed dark sides.
It was during one visit to a local coffee house where I met the “poetry story” I would tell for the next 20 some years. My best friend begged me to hang with her at a coffee house for a Poetry Night. Through much of my childhood I loved to write, and poetry was always a medium that worked for me; it was short and sweet. I’m short and sweet. Both in my statue and attitude, and in my attention span for writing and reading. Although I admit, the sweet adjective is debatable if you ever have the pleasure of watching a sporting event with me. I digress.
So, I sat at a rather large table with a group of friends as poetry night got underway. One by one the poets went to the microphone and performed their readings. The room took every word, out of every mouth, very seriously. Then, “she” took to the microphone. “She” was a poet who appeared to be in her early 20’s. Her straight and knotted jet black hair matched her outfit as she refrained from making eye contact with anyone in the audience. Her poem went exactly like this: Sunshine (long pause, followed by an intense and painful stare towards the ceiling), Lightness (another long pause, followed by a confused stare towards a side wall), Darkness (followed by a dramatic dipping of her head to the floor, ending with the eventual collapsing of her body to the floor). Three words. That was her poem. Three words spaced out dramatically.
Confused, my eyes scanned the room for reaction. The audience, including my previously preppy and clueless high school friends, put down their cigarettes and began clapping. The claps started slowly, because the obvious coolness of the newly profound couldn’t quickly switch gears from wandering smoker and coffee connoisseur to enthusiastic fan. I struggled to comprehend what I witnessed, as the entire scene felt so put on. It blackened my previously happy poetic heart. I scorned me for all things poetry.
Although the memory still makes me giggle with irritation, I choose to let it go now and leave my judgment in the sunshine, lightness, or darkness. I enjoy writing poetry. Typically, it comes out of me easily and quickly. I grow to love some of my poems, while I grow to dislike some, more and more, with each passing day. Regardless, many are worth sharing. This blog page is me sharing and I hope you enjoy!
One last time: Sunshine, Lightness, Darknes