Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Poetry Reading

I have been MIA from the world of blogging for over a month. In fact, this is the first blog entry that I've even attempted since I turned 28. April is National Poetry Month, and I have been delving into that realm a good deal - even going so far as helping start a poetry reading in the library of the school where I work. So today - on Shakespeare's birthday - what better time to post an entry to my forgotten realm of words?

A friend of mine - a poetic genius, already "knighted" so by being a Pulitzer Prize nominee - agreed to attend the poetry reading simply because he was already going to be there anyway. This was over a month ago. Last week, he appeared in the paper and told me the first thing that he checked was that the date and time were correct. Everything about this process (at the time) left me thinking, "Hey, this is going to be fun." After all, I am familiar with the library, since I worked there as a student; and have always had loads of respect for libraries, because books are this introvert's best friends. When all else fails, and I cannot for the life of me fit in much less engage in a simple conversation, I always have books as my refuge.

Recently, the lead librarian at the Appalachian Campus decided to move the reading to another room besides the library. Change, I've found, is not an ally of mine... even if Sam Cooke's mellow "A Change is Gonna Come" is one of my favorite songs. All I can think about is the first time I read poetry in a place I wasn't familiar with, and how much I trembled because I was so nervous. I felt like an idiot, and probably looked like one, too.

So... I've been thinking of scenarios. The first one was to call in sick. I mean, really, having a nervous stomach will really make you feel sick. I've felt an odd tightness since the librarian told me about the room change - to accommodate 48... instead of however many the library's computer lab holds. Plus, there's a window in there - so I can have something to look at whenever I don't want to stare at people, which is - more often than not - the case. The eyes are the windows of the soul, you know? I don't really like that many souls looking at me. Regardless, the plan of calling in sick was considered, but declined. I mean, how are the students supposed to go in for class, when I'm the one who opens the door? I always feel so proud to be the one who opens the doors in the morning, to let the masses flood through the gates of knowledge.

My second thought was the time constraint. The poetry reading lasts for two hours, with the first half being swiftly consumed by the talented teacher and personable poet Charles Clifford Brooks III. There will be others there who want to read. So... the chances of me reading, unless I'm asked to step up and read, will be very slim. I'll be the introvert in a room of extroverts; the lamb in a room filled with lions. Coffee usually gets me into a sociable groove, but too much makes me shake, and I'm sure my nerves will already be doing that (think Cowardly Lion approaching Oz)... plus, no matter how much coffee, I'm still an introvert. This idea was eradicated as well, because 1) I do love to hear Brooks read; and 2) this month is about poetry. 

If you're looking for a "third" reason to miss out tomorrow, I'm afraid I must upset you. Because, even if I don't get to read, which I'm really hoping that I do (seeing as a few select people have helped me choose which poems to read), I will be able to celebrate poetry - and knowing the audience gathered wouldn't have been assembled without me silently slipping my best foot forward to initiate the event.

Despite the stepsisters of doubt and distress, Cinderella will be attending the ball - and she is determined to have a good time.

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