Were YOU There with Vic and Gair?

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Photo by Deborah Berman, co-host of Balboa House Poetry

Here are the two co-features of Balboa House Poetry’s April 2014 event, collaboratively reading. Victoria Hoyt and I have been friends for a good half-dozen years, and it is always an honor to perform with her.

Vic went on first, and she moved the audience to laughter and tears and glowing good feeling. Then I went on, showing off an acrostic portrait of Patrick Stewart, a valentine to my Sweetheart, Denise, and certain other selected poems. Fellow poet Paul Dlouhy had offered harmonica accompaniment, and I took him up on it for my “The Love Song of Heinrich Chinaski, Deceased.” We had never rehearsed, and I suggested before we started that Paul come in with a cadence like walking. He did a jazz/street riffarama that was perfect for my words.

Finally, Vic joined me at the podium and we did some back&forth haiku we’d written in e-mail exchange a few years ago:

Dueling Haiku

Gair:

Spring

Blossoms all around
Transport me and my nose to
Pollenesia

Vic:

No Spring

Millions of meno-
Pausal baby boomers add
To global warming

Gair:

Global Warming

Global warming’s cool
Majestic ice calves make
Ocean on the rocks

Vic:

No Global Warming

From Lark to Exxon
Smoke and mirror scientists
Falsify research

Gair:

Falsification Haiku

Weapons of bereaved
Weepings of mass destruction
“Whoops–honest mistake!”

Vic:

No Falsification Haiku

Now playing on your
Smart phone: Iraq war heli-
Copter video

Gair:

VideoHaiku

Blockbuster’s busted
Netflix flickers red box loi-
Ters near entrances

Vic:

No VideoHaiku

Reality killed
The video star who killed
The radio star

Lastly, we read this, which we’d written together on a sketchpad. First Vic wrote one word, then I two, then she four, then I eight, and so forth till we got to 32, and then we imploded it back to the final word, which we co-wrote: “BLOOD.” No transcript is available at present, but wrestling through it is half the fun…

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Long story concluded: a good time was had be all, and especially us!

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