Saturday, March 24, 2012


     May I just come out and say it right there.  It rocked. The Opening of Odes & Offerings.  36 poets/36 artists. Some hung out to collaborate, some never met until last night, some didn't show. Though the newspapers forgot to mention it, and the catalogue of poems got ever so slightly mashed, and my friend Robin who is the reason I moved to new Mexico after I met her in 1969 in a Chicago Heights school, the Cottage Grove School to be precise, got robbed at CVS parking lot by Sunflower Market,  and my throat practically fell off from meeting and greeting folks, it still rocked.  I am so sorry Robin,  Thanks for making the effort to come to     The Opening until you got robbed. Glad you got your phone and credit cards back. These really are becoming desperate times, sort of post-Apoplectic, I mean friends are being robbed at knife point in Chimayo where before there was only break-ins while we were out.
     All of this is why we need acts of extreme beauty, which this show was.  Not beauty as in the surface, or my mother's Beauty Shop, but beauty as in connection, community, celebration.  I have a new thought. Just once.  On my way back from Florida  at the Dallas airport I ran into the ever gorgeous Anne Marie Garcia on her way to Costa Rica.  When her gate got changed we were scooped up by the playboy of the carts that come through and say, "Move away, a cart is coming. Beep beep beep."  Anne Marie was even making the beeping sounds.  She asked if we were supposed to be disabled to get a ride, and though I did point out I have a maybe broken toe and elevated my foot, I also realized that we were handicapped, I know that isn't a PC word, but for this purpose I need to use it.  I realized we were handicapped by Extreme Beauty. I am going to tell everyone that I am compromised in this way. Last night was a big part of it.
     Tobie-who-is-here-on -Sabbatical understands.  We are both total devotees to beauty, even thought beauty has gotten a bad name of late.  I'm sorry, my mother had a beauty salon and I was dressed and educated by the money she earned in beauty, raised by beauty, answered the phone for beauty, and took out its rollers and pin curls. Last night I raised my poems to the sky to show my mother and father, right there in front of whoever was left in the Gallery After The Show.  Oh, the show.  I got a bit off track.
     People seemed really happy and excited about it, mostly.  I want everybody to come back, spend some time with the poems which will be in catalogue form, look over our books of poetry.  I have to admit, I smuggled in poetry.  I have become a beauty smuggler and the artists were my accomplices. Someone who shall remain nameless even though he is the ultra handsome and cool partner of someone else who shall remain nameless, said that poetry was made accessible.  I think not having the poems easily there created a magnetism and longing for the poems.  When do we stand out in public and long for poems?
    Come back, public and newspapers and people not invited or juried in.  Come back to beauty and longing and the Poetry Reading Room we set up, comeback to your own work and not being included or being included and whatever creative waves that sets up in you.  Two months, fifteen days left.  Now I get to experience my other thought, the one I had leaving Boston after college in 1969.  The ends of things are intense and you may fall in love or get a boyfriend, or have a sunset as pink and purple as my Uncle Sydney's painting of the mountains that hung in our Pittsburgh dining room.
     As I left Boston, the light was bright, I had boys around me, the guy we called The Sun God because he shined with handsome and another high school boyfriend. I met the intensity of endings.  Here I am again, how to end the poem?  Emily Dickinson said it should feel as if the top of your head blew off. A bit intense for these post-Apoplectic times but I am staring to feel blown away. I want to get back to my writing, to the grandkids, to gardening.  I want to sew more PoemHolderstm and sell them so I can spoil the grandkids in a good way.  I'm a long way from a new boyfriend, but my husband is looking ultra cute in his new SHELL LUMBER cap and black shirt.  End times.  New PL times.  Who could be more appreciative than I have been to serve.  Did I mention that three or four pieces sold and I don't even get a kick-back?
     Come to the show, oh ye masses, and write some reviews would you. Hold onto your purses in parking lots, invite friends to collaborate, take a Sabbatical if only a day or week, and smuggle in beauty when you can. This blog, it turns out, is my ode and offering.  Thanks TJ for setting me up in it.  I am answering the phone to beauty, and texting her handmaidens. I finally have arrived from the Back East where I set out west in 1969, with only my blue VW between me and this vast sky.


  1. Great to meet "my" photographer, Melanie West, and really appreciate her thoughtful portrait response to my poem, "Daughters in Winter."

    Michelle Holland

  2. It ROCKED indeed! What an honor to be included in this wonderful show, and to be paired with poet Barbara Rockman. I am grateful. Thank you, Joan!

    ~ Dawn Chandler

    1. I am finally calming down enough to sleep past 4 AM and talk about other subjects occasionally, and do some sewing and swim laps. I am almost back to normal.
      I love these odd pairings of poets and artists. I think it turned out.


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