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.

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