August 15th, 2007

Egrets Reading

Stage fright?

I've been doing poetry readings for a while, so it was a bit odd to find myself at a loss of words, literally, while on stage at the Cobalt Cafe.

kingfisher1031 put together a little Don Kingfisher Campbell and friends program, guest hosting for Rick Lupert who is currently in Europe or some place. I was happy to participate. I'd never read or even been at the Cobalt before because rather far from home on a Tuesday night for a reading that doesn't even get going until 9:00 p.m.

I was told I had 7 minutes and had carefully choreographed my reading selections to move from a global warming poem to the tidepools at Leo Carillo State Beach, segueing into haiku, morphing into scifaiku, and ending with Siren's Call, my 2007 Rhysling Long Poem Nomination.

And all in 7 minutes!

(Well, everything is very, very short except for Siren's Call)

Unlike other poetry venues I frequent, the Cobalt has a stage. The audience is seated for the most part in couches along the back wall. There is regular stage lighting and the house lights are dimmed when poets are on stage. There was no podium, so since everything was in a different book, I opted to recite the haiku from memory.

The problem is that I totally blanked out on the second haiku halfway through it.

So, my rhythm was decidedly off from then on.

I did the only thing I could do - I aborted my reading and ended with the scifaiku. When I'm that off, there's no way I can do Siren's Call justice.