November 11th, We meet. The great Sam Abrams, Linda Reinfeld, Vincent’s F.A. Golphin, Gerald Schwartz and the John Roche join us for convivial testimonials and introductory statements, while we gulp down salads at the Lovin’ Cup, stoking the engine for an RIT poetry and music “rave”.

It didn’t take long to figure out who the enemy was, and it certainly wasn’t us. I met John Roche by e-mail years ago, published his poetry and reviews of his work in Jack Magazine and Big Bridge years ago. He set this Rochester ROCKPILE visit up. It was great to make first contact. I always feel a little startled when an e-mail or facebook name manifests as flesh and blood. There must be a catch, I think. But John’s kindness was overwhelming and he set the record straight.

Gerald and Linda and I thrashed around topics of performance, collaboration, aesthetics, poetics. The salad was a little weak and overpriced but the conversation was lush and substantial. Tired of being bored to death by uninspired poetry and poetic renderings, all of us, someone’s ears must be burning! But we have learned to not name names. You never know when you will need a grant, or a publication credit, or some other nonsense, like a blurb. And they had tons of resource recommendations. Books to read, links online to check out to see performance of poetry and music… The transmission is what it is all about. I gladly took note and invited them to blog.

Someone said, “You guys must get pretty testy being in the car together for so long.” Seems the “reality” part of this trip has recurrent appeal. But reality doesn’t figure. I am mostly hallucinating these days from sleep deprivation and sensory overload. Reality doesn’t figure at all, but heart figures, and I am all heart for David and Terri. So what ever weird manifestations possess me/us, hysteria, glossalalia, paranoid schizophrenia, delusions of grandeur, it passes, dissolves in a Pennsylvania sunset, or in the rocky crags of an upstate mountain gorge, then moves on.

David got into locked reminiscences with Sam Abrams, a meeting of the memories. The wine was poured and secret transmission of wily weed became the sacrament of lunch. Creeley and Duncan were mentioned. John Roche, Vincent Golphin and Terri dove into the conversation. Someone mentioned “race” and the “academy” and books I never read.

The table was working enthusiastically in three directions.

Obama took the floor to speak to us. It seems we all supported him but find him bitterly disappointing, no different than any other politician. (I hear “Brazil” playing through this conversation and many other similar conversations these days on the road). Obama. Grossly disappointing, grossly part of the system that is killing us all…Obama, he reminds us, we can’t blame him for our disappointment. Just because he gave us hope, doesn’t mean he owes us anything…

David has trouble talking and eating at the same time. His glass of red wine half full. He goes back to Jazz. He killed an introductory martini in a single bound. He is an athletic drinker with refined tastes. Oh, Dad, my dad, You would love this man. Plate overflowing with Caesar Salad and chicken. Cheeks rosy and ready for love. I rose from the table first. Did I have my cell phone, my wallet, David’s poems, my poems….I stood clutching my briefcase and David’s walking sticks. Staring down David’s neck, “Take your time but it’s time to go”, I said. The point was made.

Good times have to roll and baby it’s time. Showtime at RIT! No question about it. Rochester was going to be a sweet, sweet visit.


One single comment

  1. Marina Lazzara says:

    Ok, this one’s a tear jerker. It’s raining in Frisco today. My windowpanes finally white again. And as much as I crave the sun, it feels good to purge the paint. I needed a feel-good cry. Thanks.

    (words to login: veterans alen)

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