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Archive for December 15th, 2005

4 Against the Wall, at Creole Gallery

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Wednesday night I did the unheard of. I did not go to Habibi Dancers rehearsal. And I went to a very special event (at Creole Gallery in Old Town) instead.

I attended the gala poetry reading, to celebrate the new book: “4 Against the Wall” by Zachary Chartkoff, Sam Mills, Robert Rentschler, and Ruelaine Stokes.

Back when I was single, when I had angst, when I was writing poetry to exorcise the angst… I went to the poetry readings at Hobie’s restaurant once a month. I read my poetry, and I listened to others read their work. And let me tell you, these four shine a mile above many poets I’ve read.

I wish you could hear their voices. Because, really, poetry at its best is about sound. Yes, it’s also about ideas/thoughts/feelings. You can read a poem, eyes alone, from a page in a book. However, to make a poem truly sing, someone must read it aloud, give it a voice.

My favorite poetry performer of all time is Ruelaine Stokes. She can read her own poetry, or anyone else’s (I love it when she reads Rumi), and make it take on such life that it almost has a flavor.

Here is my very favorite poem. Ever. Of any time, any writer. I can not read the poem without choking up and/or shedding a tear. I have lived the spirit of this poem, though I did not write it.

I am not the only person who has been deeply moved by this poem. Several years ago, I purchased an artpiece from Freshteh Parvizi which includes fragments of text, excerpts from this very poem.

The poem is on page 75 of this new, wonderful, fabulous, incredible gem of a book. (Included here with permission.) Written by none other than my friend Lynne Ruelaine Stokes… poet, photographer, artist.

from the “book” of common prayer
wash my heart & call me clean
a hard time is over

yesterday I listened to the grass grow wild
green under the snow

& now I see the water fall
from your eyes

let it rain
let it rain down on me

forgiveness is mine/listen to your lover

the trees will buy new dresses
the birds will flower

I called it a hard time, lord
but it’s over

tea is on the table, honey in the pot
bread and butter
even the radio wants
to be my friend

that hard time, lord
it’s over

Lansing State Journal Article about Poetry Book

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

The Lansing State Journal had an article on Wednesday, about my friends and their poetry book. I enjoyed the article, and maybe you would as well.