Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cape Cod Reading

It was pouring rain when we left Arlington for a two-hour ride to West Falmouth. I was to read with Susan Donnelly and Fan Ogilvie for the Calliope series at the West Falmouth Library. Driving in a nor'easter is rough. Wind whipped rain against the windows; trucks sent up spray, which splattered against the windshield with a loud, wet noise. I was jumpy until we got to the Bourne Bridge. Traffic crept: there had been an accident.

It was still raining hard when we got to the library. I pulled up my hood and went inside. There were people! The wood-paneled room was warm, and there was wine. There was a children's corner.

Thanks to the fine work of Alice Kociemba , coordinator of the series, there was an audience of regulars. There's Alice in front of the fireplace.

We waited for Fan Ogilvie, who was coming from Martha's Vineyard, and learned her boat had been cancelled because of rough seas. Alice read from her chapbook. A phrase stays with me, "the rhythm of the day-dreaming soul." Susan Donnelly's poem,"The Fifties," gave us a picture of "What We Wore":

From the neck down
we were fortressed
with guy ropes and wires.

Plastic splints
pushed up our small,
worried breasts. We hooked

dress shields
over the smears
of Secret. From our waists

hung garters,
with rigging that
stroked our thighs.

Rubber girdles, crinolines,
sanitary belts
like holy medals.

I autographed a book for Susan, congratulating her on escaping the rigging.

It snowed on the way home but I wasn't nervous. I got into the "rhythm of the day-dreaming soul." Soon we were home and eating a dinner of curry and rice. Just enough heat in the spice.

Please tell me about your reading experiences.