Monday night at UT, my home university, I'll be performing poems from my new book, The Love That Moves Me (Black Widow Press). My friend and colleague Arthur Smith was supposed to share the program with me; because of a death in the family, he won't grace the stage this time. My old friend Keith Norris has agreed to reprise his "Backwoods Inferno" for the occasion. He'll go first, and he raises the barre. Bar? We'll wait on that until after the event!
I blew a few lines on Wednesday afternoon at Pellissippi, and though the audience was kind, I left gnashing my teeth.
So now I have a chance to redeem myself. A colleague of mine, an actor, tells me that the most important thing about a performance is to ask oneself what it is that one wants to communicate. What key thing? For me, there are many things. I want to make sure the audience feels that they have been invited into the poem ("I Want You Here"). I hope the love that transcends place will convey a unifying bridge beam of light through the time, places and people who add diversity and flavor to the ensemble ("Love Poem for the Ageless"). I want the humor to shine through, too, and reveal the inner workings of poetical alchemy (we poets take the dreck of everyday life and transform it into the "gold" of song and story.)
But that's too much. So let's just go with "I Want You Here." Now it's time to practice. The air is cool, the back porch is perfect. Perhaps I should be working on my taxes. But I'm working on not making a fool of myself this time. I'm working on singing, being vulnerable, being a human who writes, spins, chants, tells the truth, and lies beautifully! If you're in Knoxville, do stop by the Hodges Library Auditorium for the show!
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.