Friday, November 14, 2008

Tequila and Erotic Poetry

The bright neon sign, which is a replica of the bar owner's face glows magically in the window; reflecting onto the quaint neighborhood street. The warmth of the neon is a signal to those of us that are already familiar with its meaning, "Yes, we're open, come inside. Take off your coat, grab a seat at the bar and stay for awhile." The Literary Cafe reminds me of what a speakeasy must have been like during prohibition: surreptitious, opening late and closing much later.

It's a place you can duck into and shed away constraints. Listen closely to the conversations. Listen closely to the words, because they're powerful; often sprinkled with politics, religion, philosophy, music, film, art and literature. Sometimes words shared are irreverent in nature, but that's part of the appeal; the charm; the ambiance. The Literary Cafe's address is the same, but it's never the same place twice and for me, and it feels like home.

She pulled back the single, heavy metal-framed screen and then pushed down on the latch; opening the front door. She was greeted with friendly faces, some wearing winter coats, hats and gloves. She stepped further inside; shaking her head and freeing the tiny rain drops that had been captured in her straight, blond hair, like prisoners from an inclement weather war. She walked straight to the bar, smiled sweetly and if I hadn't already known her tainted spirit, I would have said she spoke with innocence when she asked for a double shot of tequila from the bar owner.

It was one of those crazy nights -the crowd was infused with raw talent, booze, a bad day at work, and the threat of what loomed somewhere just past tomorrow: the cold and menacing, midwest winter. Even still, each person gleamed with the hope that the opiate of good poetry read tonight, would prove to be the solace they each desperately clung onto to lift their sullied moods and nourish their souls. The crowd was noisy and restless for the games to begin.

She was surrounded with some of the best at their craft. She heard her name being called; it was her turn to read and she rifled through her purse; grabbing her notes. Her long tight fitting cheetah-print skirt swished against her fish net stockings as her tall, black, peep-toe pumps clicked across the hardwood floor; stepping around chairs and people sitting on the floor. She stood in front of the podeum.

Nervously, she briefly explained to the crowd in front of her that she wasn't really a poet, per se, but she had lyrical prose to share, and that her written words could be considered poetic by nature.

"Please, indulge me and just listen," She said softly into the microphone.

The crowd wasn't pleased and some hissed in disagreement. They came to listen to poetry, not prose!

"Please, indulge me and just listen," she said again louder; tequila on her breath as she adjusted the microphone over the heated crowd. She felt the heaviness of impatience growing and she thought she might be overthrown, or perhaps thrown out.

"Please, I write EROTICA...indulge me and just listen...." Her voice trembled with anxiety.

The crowd fell silent. It appeared they liked the word, erotica. They would indulge her, and just listen.

Of course I'm embellishing the story ever so slightly, here. Honestly, all fiction aside, I had an amazing time.

Feeling a little hung over today,

p.s. Thanks to Steve Goldberg, Miles Budimir , John Etorre, Melodie/Natalie Grable, Lois Moss and Andy and Linda for being there last night and offering their support. SWAK.


Kirsten Monroe said...

Cheetah-print skirt, peep toe pumps! Nice!

"Please, indulge me and just listen" -- Oh yes, you got my ears perked up for sure!

Sounds like quite a night!

Spamword is "nomen" But I like boys!


Neve Black said...

It's funny, because I'm not at all nervous to speak in front of crowds, but this was different b/c I was baring my soul - my words, my sweat. I know you know what I mean.

Yes, Neve's outfit, to include the cheetah-print skir was purrrfect.

Thank you for the support!

When is it going to be your turn to read, Ms. KM? :-)

Kirsten Monroe said...

Eeeck! (reading). You're so brave -- I admire that so much -- your getting up there and putting it out there for all to see, jungle cat clothes & all. Someday....maybe.

Jesus Crisis said...

The words you shared with us that night were mighty fine poetry, in my somewhat-humble opinion. It was as though Apollinaire had reincarnated as an American woman. He was quite adept at marrying poetry and erotica as well.

Neve Black said...

That's quite a compliment. Thank you. I am no poet and I'm honored to have been asked to read in front of all of you -