(I don't usually take this long to write a thank you, but an important matter kinda stole my attention on a Monday night.)
I know I didn't reinvent a wheel, readings have been going on for decades. Well, historically much longer than that but you know what I mean. And the internet has been used to stream live events since it was able to do so. But for some reason Sunday felt like the first time I’ve hosted a Bluebird Reading and it felt like I stepped into new territory. While preparing to write this I had to make sure to pull every Bluebird from the memory banks, just for grounding purposes.
Being able to effectively listen to the spoken word is an exercise in being human; paying attention to the details while also trying to comprehend the symbolism, the sitting in silence, the emotional response - at the right moments, and sometimes at the wrong moments. Reader, after reader, after reader, and sometimes for two hours at a time. I don’t know about you, but this is often hard for me to do. For some reason I can't sit still too long during poetry readings and I sometimes want to just laugh during the quiet moments. Yeah, I sometimes suck at being an audience, but one thing I know for sure, my Bluebird audience doesn't suck. Ever. I'd love nothing better than to give a big hug and thanks to all of those who came by (virtually and physically) to listen and support our featured writers, the Bluebird reading series and Avenue 50 Studio. My parents (all four of them) were in attendance via Google Hangout, and so were Bluebird alumni Melinda Palacio and Wyatt Underwood!
This past Sunday was especially significant to me for many reasons, one being that I’m a big fan of the journey, more so than the destination. Physical or metaphysical, place is defined by the stories that still travel on the roads between here and there. It’s important that these stories are told, because where we are now – didn't always exist. I think it’s important to remember yesterday and there, and to dream of tomorrow and here.
So to recap - the wonderful Hector Tobar gave us a sneak peek into a mythical relationship centering on our River and nurtured by bicycle tours of the cities under-appreciated malodorous areas. Amanda Yates Garcia (with the help of Mark So strategically placing his cassette decks in the hands of the audience) led us on an exploration away from places dreamt up by our inherited anxieties and towards our relationship with place and the sounds that those physical and spiritual experiences birth – and with Gram Parsons to boot! Abel Salas took us to Tucson to help us compassionately fight, for what is right and for those that can’t. And we thought about our plans for disaster, and then wonderfully accepted our Angelesian fate, with the help of Joseph Lapin's view from Chinatown. And of course, what journey wouldn't be complete without a visit to the old village of Strathpeffer, Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands?! With a little help from our lovely friends at Google Hangout, our favorite human factors engineer - the effervescent, holistic and Los Angeles born Ashley Karr - was able to share her beautiful poem from her hotel bed in her ancestral Scotland. I thank them for inspiring us...for amazing storytelling...and for making Bluebird their home for a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon.
A HUGE thank you to the wonderful open-mic’rs – My favorite part of the Bluebird Reading, always!
Don't worry, we’ll be expanding on this Google Hangout experiment because of course, I wouldn't want anyone to get bored. Stay tuned for more info on that.
And next month there will be NO Bluebird, as she’s flying away from home for a little winter break. But catch us December 8th when we feature Rich Ferguson, Brynn Saito & a live Butoh performance by Khadija Anderson (plus more TBA) !!!
Again, thank you and a huge X and O
The more your encounter with poetry deepens, the more your experience of your own life will deepen, and you will begin to see things by means of words, and words by means of things.