Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dignity

My husband said he had one word for me, and then he gave me two. The first was, "No." He thinks I need to pace myself. For example last night I wanted to go hear Jeremy and Sarah Jane more than anything, but it would have meant my third night in town, and third drive home in rain. Granted it only drizzled, unlike the arroyo run of the night before. But a night on the couch with a movie made sense. I said "no" and it hurt, but was good for me.

The other word was, "Dignity." Last night Bob Eckert from the Rio Grande Sun called to tell me he was taking a comic approach to the photographs in the article he is doing. Mug shots of me. Was I okay with this? I am always okay with humor, unless it hurts or is racist. Laughing at myself is part of my wiring. Also taking things as sacred and serious. I am ambidextrous.
I used to be ambivalent, but I am not any more. I am a grandmother, for goodness sake and spent yesterday herding kids afternoon. Today to write at Spanish Market. Notebook. Pencil. Dignity in tow.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Other People's Eyes

"I am just inspired by you-all your life hanging in there as a poet and now Recognition! Its kind of cinderella-ish. You looked beautiful and sounded so strong and I loved your Poet Sign. It was really good to see Mike and your girls and Julie and Shaffer. It all made me happy and miss you all. Making any gaspacho yet? I planted seeds from the pumpkin you gave me from your garden and I have a beautiful pumpkin patch- a poet pumpkin patch." Mary Jo

That's why former neighbor had to say. I, of course, was doing my usual post-mortem on how i didn't do well enough, wore the wrong dress, and blasted the mic instead of getting intimate and strong. I am sure I will be heading to therapy before too long. B
But no! I think part of being in community is having the blessing of other's people's eyes. When I have had years of uninspired writing, I'll run into someone who sees me as a poet. To me, that is the prayer a community can be. To see the parts of us we can't even recognize in ourself. To hold us in that role, even if we're not in the mood.

Though I am totally happy and thrilled about life in the PL lane, it doesn't make my neurotic ways evaporate. This will be a practice in good enough. I am preparing for each event I do and will have to accept it as my best effort at that moment.

The pedicab sure was a blast the other night. Kathleen Mccloud is so into it she wants to donate her pencil, FUTURE, to the arts commission. I'm saying, after my tenure, please....and she has agreed.

People are stepping forward in the sweetest ways. Being happy for the joy of another is called "mudhita" in Buddhism. This gives me the opportunity to take in, not lose a bit of it, and remember to be happy for the success of others. They may be struggling with the "good enough" even when winning the lottery of their particular life. I do feel like I've won the lottery
and I see it as joy reflected in others.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Passing of the Pencil Ceremony

Last night felt like what summer nights in Santa Fe are meant to be. Bob Chavez drove our pedicab round the Plaza. The poetry Valerie Martines & Gabriela Ortiz were in turn elegant and embarrassed. The major was there, lots of friends, two great bands, the guy who bought my mom's car. It was a full house.

My grand-daughter, Kaylee, held my POet Laureate sign on stage. I forgot to introduce here. She got a little tired and turned the sign upside down, but that was cool. Afterwards at San Francisco Bar and Grill she said, eerily channeling the Hungarian aunties or my mother, "I'm so proud of you." Then she looked deeply into my eyes and said, "Don't lose a bit of it." All three of my grandkids were there, and that means the most to me.

Michael, my consort, is back from two weeks in Wisconsin. It was a good welcome home party on the plaza. The giant pencil got him lots of comment as he walked around downtown Santa Fe. Everybody evidently loves a giant pencil. What next? Kathleen has already made a giant sumie paint brush. Giant paperclips. Giant calculators. Giant pop-up note dispenser.

Here is my induction speech:: Thanks to Valerie, who did an outstanding job, 52 events of great quality, as our Poet Laureate. Thanks also to David Lescht and the Bandstand, for making the Plaza a place of community again. Speical thanks to Santa Fe Arts Commission, especially Sabrina Pratt, for sponsoring the Poet Laureate Program a rarity among cities.
Thanks to New Mexico Literary Arts, our board that keeps the grass green in grass roots arts organizations.
Thanks to my friend Bob Chavez, pedicab driver by day, nightsky and lightening photographer by night. He changed his schedule for us. And the Poetry Paparazzi, I never thought I’d get to say that.

Poet, Anne Sexton, said we are writing a communal poem. I wanted to thank not just the two preceding Poet Laureates, Arthur Sze and Valerie Martinez, but the many fine Santa Fe Poets who are friends and colleagues. They are writing in coffee shops and colleges, they are publishing everywhere and starting literary magazine, they are both well known or below the radar. They are reading in apple orchards and homes in Chupedero, as well as independent bookstores. We have a great audience for poetry, the Lannan Foundation readings at the Lensic often fills the house at 850. We have book stores which stock poetry and teachers who put stock in poetry, who welcome poets into their classrooms in programs such as Poets-in-the-Schools, and Artworks. Thanks to Culturenet, Alex Traube and again Arts Commission who has sheltered Artworks until recently when Partners in Education took it on.
Tonight ushers in a new era in poetry, where children fall in love with poems, adults support each other’s work unceasingly, and the youth are coolest of all because that is teenagers’ job. A time when SLAM, coffeeshop, Lannan, grassroots, spoken word, page poets, and IAIA readings serve the hearts, minds, and souls for a literate and literary Santa Fe. Or maybe it’s not so much a new era as bringing to awareness that Santa Fe is an epicenter of poetry. We are a UNESCO city of arts excellence, with the highest percentage of writers in the work force of any city. Let’s keep writing that communal poem. We are a city of poems/city of poets. Metaphors be with you!

Here is a poet of the FUTURE, 8th grader Gabriela Ortiz of Santa Fe Girls’ School with her Ars Poetica, poem on the art of poetry.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Poet Laureate Diet

I told my co-publishers at Tres Chicas Books meeting yesterday that people were being so nice to me. Even people who don't like me are excited for me. Why they don't like me I'm not sure. But everyone is being nice. Miriam kept saying "Dos Chicas" during our meeting. I hope they don't dump me for being pre-occupied as I try to land on my Laureate feet, and get my sea legs in a land locked city. Miriam Sagan gave me a long cut velvet wrap which at 98 degrees I may not have been properly excited about, but will be lovely in the winter. I will go all Anne Waldman.
Miriam's late husband, the lovely Robert Winson, once said as he put me on his KSFR radio show, "I'll make you Adrienne Rich." he was very supportive of his friends' art. But I asked him if he could make me Anne Waldman instead. I like her sense of style.
My friend Barbara Davilman liked my idea of the Poet Laureate Diet. I did have a few bon bons today and will try for bon mots tomorrow. Basically, I am so happy, despite this world and three deaths this week, and all that, that I expect weight may just leave the premises. If it doesn't , I will be carrying happy weight like water retention in a dry climate.
The Passing of the Pencil Ceremony*******
Come to the Santa Fe Plaza on Mpnday at 7:00 for ten minutes, I promise. The bands are good, I checked with musician friends and David Lescht wouldn't let us down. Thank you, David. I am writing poems too, and will read my favorite one on Monday. Valerie Martinez will be there and Gabriela Ortiz, a young poet I have worked with two years at the Santa Fe Girls' School will read her Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry). Incase I don't get to I want to thank the Santa Fe Arts Commission, especially Sabrina Pratt,
Kathleen Mccloud of the pencil, and my dear friend, Bob Chavez, photographer and pedicab driver.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Year of Living Poetically

So far as Poet Laureate of Santa Fe I have had two and a half poetry emergencies, one public appearance in a bowling shirt that makes me look boxy, and one writing on site where I was so moved. The two emergencies occurred in La Puebla, NM where I live. My friend, Julie Bennet, has a sort of B & B set up called Air, Bed, and Breakfast. Two, not one, but two separate guests were poets and so I had to don my bowling shirt which reads "Santa Fe Poet Laureate: Joan Logghe" on the front and "City of POems/City of Poets" on the back and rush over. Two nights. Poetry was discussed and shared by all. I didn't know house calls was part of the deal. Then in a nursing home in California, I met a 97 year old who is a former Santa Fean. When told I was her Poet Laureate she asked for a poem. I gave her a small one and she applauded. I count that as a half emergency since she is 97 and wheelchair bound already.

The boxy bowling shirt appearance a gratitude moment. I went to Los Alamos concert series was was able to introduce singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson. Here's what I waned to say and didn't. A bit of a case of nerves.

In the early 1980's in santaFe, when I had just taken on poetry again, I'd go hear a singer downtown in a club below La Fonda called Casa Blanca or the Casbah, one of the "c" named clubs. She'd sing about Cerrillos, her town, about being a mom and never alone. I could totally dig it. She sang, "Santa Fe just sits there grinning under Indian blue skies" and so I'd sing is as I drove into town from the north. She showed me that writing can be intimately personal and reach others deeply. I was a fan and a groupie. I wanted to thank Eliza for being on her path so fiercely and with such determination. She moved me. And today I am Poet Laureate of Santa Fe. Here I ma with my two grandchildren. Gratitude to Eliza."

I said an approximation and my son put it on You Tube (Try POet Laureate, Eliza Gilkyson). She calls her path The Beauty Way after the Navajos and thanks to all on this knife edge. That was a Gratitude Emergency and she got it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Listen to my poem, "Music from the Plaza."

video

I knew a blog would be lurking around the corner. My friend TJ helped me put this poem here.


The music is from May Day 2010, Jeremy Bleich composed it for Samba Fe. I wrote the poem last year. On July 19 at 7:00 PM there will be a reading of this poem and a passing of the giant pencil from Outgoing Laureate, Valerie Martinex, to me. The pencil is by Kathleen McCloud whose great work is at Ernesto Mayans Gallery. She took my writing classes years ago. This sculpture is called "Venus Velvet" and is a cousin to the one Kathleen is allowing me to show for my tenure as Poet Laureate. My accompanying sculpture is aptly called, "FUTURE." The photo when you play the poem is by Jamey Stillings, (c) 2010


Everyone is being so helpful to me and happy for me. Thank you...