Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Writing Workshop in April

I was selected to participate in the writing workshop with 2011 writer in residence Nancy Rawles on Tuesday, April 26 and Thursday, April 28, 2011 at Peninsula College, Port Angeles.  Nancy Rawles is an African American playwright, novelist, and teacher. The poem I submitted was: Fish and Open Mic Night.  This is the revised copy, dated January 25, 2011.]

Fish and Open Mic Night

Poached, steamed,
broiled, boiled,
dried, fried
in soups and saucers,
piled high,
their eyes bright,
their silver bodies shimmer
in the harsh light of the hall. 
Fish and open mic night
at Der Schnitzel.
Ten fish dishes
ten acts.
Comics, poets, a demure cello player,
“a little person” (with a big heart) on harmonica,
a shy, chubby teen singing a familiar “Oh, Baby...Oh, Baby” tune, a cappella,
memorized note by note by note,
listening to a CD every day after pom-pom practice.

Fierce in its stilted taste and organized fun,
glorious in attempts to dazzle and entertain,
certain the crowd is buzzed and fuzzy
on the beer and polite, white wine.  

We squirm and fidget,
embarrassed for the people on the stage – a few feet above our heads
and so close to our table
we see their silver fillings on the high notes. 

There are holes in the older woman's hose when she sits on the stool to read her poem.
She has one, clear, drop of mucus on the tip of her nose.
Some of us can only focus on that precise,  perfectly round secretion - so clear and symmetrical
the unintentional lens magnifies the stage behind her. 

We feel sorry, and made more uneasy
when she loses her place. 
Her poem is about lost love.
When she finishes, she puts her head down and seems to sob.
Her shoulders hunch and her chest surges.

The stage hand moves to her quickly to touch her shoulder and say something in her ear.

The fish know nothing of this drama. They lie quietly in the pans and plates, oblivious to all around them.  They are better for it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Flash Fiction & Fable

an experimental and experiential workshop

Beginning April 8 and running for five, consecutive weeks on Friday or Saturday, depending on pre-enrollment.  The workshop will meet at The Center, 144 Tripp Rd., from 10am until 1pm. Write thomaspitre AT gmail DOT com with the subject "write at the center" in the subject line if you would like to participate.  Instructor: Thomas Pitre