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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spellbinding Reading with Kelly Davio & Caleb Barber

Kelly Davio, reading from Burn This House

Caleb Barber, reading from Beasts & Violins

I always know it's going to be an especially great night of poetry when I arrive at The Station to the melodious notes of a whistling-over-time espresso machine, Waylon or Luis working the counter like a dervish, my right hand gal Betty Jean running to the back room to grab more (and more) folding chairs for the spill-over-into-the-street crowd. They come from all over the city, and always they come ready to listen closely, laugh, sigh, and knowingly nod. There are so many great things about bringing people together for a common appreciation, but when it's a do in the name of poetry, gawd help me.

Since Beacon Bards launched in September 2012, every reading/open mic has been special in its own way; last night was the same - though something about it still being LIGHT at 8:30 pm, light, light, and more light all through the reading, coupled with the illuminating words of both Kelly Davio and Caleb Barber, made the night particularly luscent. These two rising stars are definitely ones to watch. Kelly and Caleb both have recently-released collections from Red Hen Press - I picked up copies last night, and can't wait to dive into more of their fine work. Here's just a sampling of what we were graced with:

From "In a Twilight Town," by Caleb Barber:

I'd like to hear about all those goldfish
that never survived through winter
on her parents' porch. I'd like to know how
the couch felt when it froze through.
But the plane for the mail route is spinning on
and this place will always be his stop.
The night makes us all older, and just walking
toward it, she covers her thighs with the dark.

From "Children's Art is Asylum Art," by Kelly Davio:

At recess, children work with a diligence
of bowed heads, use mirrors to burn flags
for invented nations into patchy grass.
They wait for blue sparks from heaven,
for emancipation, the loosening of sky,
the bus home, the family dog--hallelujah 
and hallucination imitating one another
from the eye's corner. 

Poems like these remind me that poetry can be a savior, a redeemer, and a balm, but also a way into a more sharpened notion of who we are and how we live.

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