Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Wine of Words

All my friends would like to know…how I can sleep so late…well, I have a gene for it…the wine of words is mostly partaken…in the wee hours of the morning…I write alone. ~ Colleen, From The Zen of Winter Poetry, Muses Like Moonlight.

The open mic that began as a community outreach effort by the Writer’s Workshop I belong to is taking on a life of its own. The wordsmiths and bards came out in full force last night, the night after St. Patrick’s Day, to the Café Del Sol to share their poetry and prose. Our 7-9 P.M. announced schedule went over by at least an hour. With a front row seat that happened to be a comfy couch, I nursed a beer while taking in the fare and found myself becoming intoxicated with language.

Beginning with the performances of a few talented students from the high school’s forensics’ team and ending with my friend Jayn reading her poem, “City Boy Country Girl” …Yeah, we’re in love… Exposed hearts melting in our personal global warming…causing floods of correspondence… climate changes in poetry…and occasional research trips into each other’s changing world… there must have been a dozen readers reading all variety of works.

I got to inject my best Irish accent when it was my turn to take to the mic with a poem called My Grandmother’s Brogue … My grandmother came to America to be a servant… and then have 11 children for the Catholic Church…Jesus Mary and Joseph! And my friend Katherine, whose article on home-birthing twins was published in Mothering magazine over two decades ago, shared her image-rich remembrances of childhood while writing at her now-deceased mother’s desk.

Although it is actually a serious subject, Doug Thompson, fellow blogger and journalist, brought the house down with his humorous response to being a target of the Bush Administration’s investigation into reporters who write unfavorable stories about them: On an unspecified day last week an employee of a federal agency that cannot be revealed delivered a document that cannot be identified to a company that cannot be named seeking information that cannot be discussed.

His piece was written following a more serious report on the matter, “Bush Declares War On Freedom of the Press,” which is excerpted below but can be read in its entirety at Doug’s news site, Capitol Hill Blue. In recent weeks, the FBI has issued hundreds of “National Security Letters,” directing employers, banks, credit card companies, libraries and other entities to turn over records on reporters. Under the USA Patriot Act, those who must turn over the records are also prohibited from revealing they have done so to the subject of the federal probes… Just how widespread, and uncontrolled, this latest government assault has become hit close to home last week when one of the FBI’s National Security Letters arrived at the company that hosts the servers for this web site, Capitol Hill Blue. The letter apparently demanded traffic data, payment records and other information about the web site along with information on me, the publisher…

Sipping tea over breakfast this morning with my husband, Joe, I realized out loud that 4 of my 5 closest women friends are writers. We spent the rest of the morning poring over an article my son Josh had been asked to submit for a Studio Pottery publication with an editor’s eye (all 4 of them) in mind. This afternoon our Writers’ Workshop is set to meet. Tomorrow night my calendar tells me that I’m scheduled to attend the Blacksburg book club that recently read my book The Jim and Dan Stories.

I feel a hangover coming on…

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