Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 245 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis





A matter of about an hour's drive on some very untypically uncongested LA freeways was a really good way to begin a perceptual adjustment. That's what myself, the esteemed writer Albert Salinas, and our wives did today. Why take the time on what could be a lazy Sunday to chance roads that jam in a heartbeat to drive down to a neighborhood in LA as well known for its violent street gangs as its artist venues and writing community?
First was the invitation to attend a reading by four authors of poetry. Two awash in honors and volumes of their own work, one not so, and the fourth a relative newcomer. The venue was the Avenue 50 Gallery, the reading was the Bluebird Reading, and the poets were Audrey Kuo, Melinda Palacio, Cara Van Le, and Mariano Zaro. A generous three minutes per reader was offered at the open mic portion of the event and the crowd was receptive and courteous.
Is that in itself enough to get you out of your chair for an hour-long drive in high 80's temperatures to sit in an un-air-conditioned space and listen to someone else's work? When the work is of the quality that these people presented, yes. The second damned good reason is that a one hour drive can put you in an artistic environment completely different than the one you're used to. Let's face it, poets are cliquish as hell. We flock together as much by the sound of our song as by the recognizable nature of our plumage. Once in a while it's good to fly away from the home flock to hear how one in a different forest sings.
The break was nice in that it shook my ears and made me listen closer. This particular community has a much more narrative bent than my home venue. That resulted in me picking up my notebook and pen as things were being read, and noting about ten new ideas and possible opening lines to pursue. Not that it can't happen at home, but we become lazy listeners when we're hearing the same voices, and work can become somewhat homogeneous when we don't venture into foreign territory.
So, get off your ass. Break out the local entertainment pages, make a few more contacts, and risk a modicum of discomfort or effort for the sake of revitalizing your attention and broadening your palette. Oh, and if you really luck out, like we did, you find a great little eatery within spitting distance of the place you're headed.
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.

Dane F. Baylis
In her dark
In her convent cell
Novice Mary Michael lies on her pallet
A hand full of
Open to all the steam and corruption
Those tawdry pre-Galilean carpenter chapters
Ageless testimony
Brimming with begatters begetting and innocent loss
Condemned by the prude Leviticus
Pushedd to the desperate
Guilty hours
She shoves her other hand against her habit
Filling it with
Riding a digital ticket to wide eyed dreams of
Sinewy snake muscle
Beneath sweat sheen
Swarthy skin
Long lean Moses daddy legs
Holding up a tiny - Marched all the way from Pharaoh’s Egypt - Monkey butt
With Charlton Heston’s, ‘You’ve been a naughty girl’, baritone
Crooning background
To her fantasy straddle, back and forth gallop
Upon a golden calf
Bearing her to the altar
Where she can be scourged like the wayward wanton
In De Sade’s agony to freedom
She wants to kneel before a Messiah
Wash his feet
Those delirious iron band thighs
Flirting her hands across his loin cloth
Yearning to be the chalice
That takes the second coming
And the bible tumbles to the bed
As her hand strains to heaven
In a hallelujah moment
Before covering her face to muffle
Sobs of guilty elation.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis

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