Stepping Up (To the Mike)


In just two short days, I will be stepping up to the mike and reading my poetry aloud to a group of people for the first time since college.  Then, I was in a small circle and we were all sharing our poems and songs. It was small and close. Intimate and safe.

Now, I am stepping in front of an audience of strangers.

An audience. Crap, what I am thinking?

Fear.

Fear should not stop me from growing as a person, a writer or a poet.  And NPR.

I listen to it constantly.  Friends have to ask me to change the station when we are speeding down the highway. Students beg me to play something besides Diane Rehm after lunch.  And it was thanks to this addiction that I encountered Quique Aviles and his smooth yet gritty accented voice.  When he read a few lines from one of his poems (1992) my heart leaped and I was transported back to the first time that I read Daily by Naomi Shihab Nye where she said that “ The days are nouns: touch them.”

1992

I want to keep playing with verbs

Write letters to old friends

And ask them to keep writing

I want to hold on to the lives of consonants and vowels

~ Quique Aviles

                I want my days to be nouns that touch the souls of others and my friends verbs that I can hold on to.  I want my art and heart to grow, and staying at home with notebooks of poetry and lines following through my mind weaving emotions into stanzas with rhymes and rhythms scattered throughout will not encourage this growth.  Loving Emily Dickinson, even playing her on stage once, does not mean that I want to be her.

 

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