Friday, November 18, 2022

Love Poem to Wussow's and Last Night's Writer's Salon

Diorama in a Shoebox by Ann Marie Geniusz.
Note the frost on the windows, art on the walls.
Last night I went to the Writer's Salon at Wussow's Concert Cafe in West Duluth (across the street from the West Theater). The Writer's Salon is essentially the same as the pre-covid open mic in which local writers shared their work.  

The evening opened with featured poet Emily August's reading of poems dealing with intergenerational trauma, violence and healing. The poems she shared were part of a collection that is coming out sometime next year. 

Poems she read included The Healer, The Warning Wood, The Ancient Dream of the Evolutionist, and White Room at the World's Edge. The imagery was vivid and her sensitivity to the sounds of the words, and not just their content, produced aural effects that at times slithered like snakes. 

Guitar case features Wussow's-related stickers
Other readers included:

--Linda Lagarde Grover, who read from her book The Sky Watched.

--Dan ____, who briefly shared his love of travel and his trips to Turkey, Istanbul and the cradle of Christianity where caves contain iconic drawings and the rich history of this less commercialized region of the world. 

--Naomi _____, who read One Boy Told Me.

--Gavin Glenn, who also does stand up comedy, shared a hilarious piece called Never Ask Me To Interview Anybody for a Job along with a few other riffs, closing with Honks.

--(name that I missed), shared a humorous Bark, Bark, Bark and a clever piece called A Rock In My Shoe, both of which brought to mind some of my own experiences with barking dogs and pebbles that feel like boulders in one's shoe.

--Zachary's Driftwood Carp was easy to visualize.

--Jason Iwen shared a poem from a collection he's working on that involves writing a poem for each year of his life. Jason read his poem about the year 1982.

--Ryan Vine shared a piece called Sex Tap, and another titled Lake Erie & Light Rain. 

Tina Higgins Wussow hosted the event, interspersing the readings with a couple poems by Pablo Neruda and one of her own. "You die slowly if you do not change," was a line from the second Neruda poem.

I myself was also one of the readers, sharing a flash fiction piece I'd written titled The Gladiator, plus a couple other poems including two versions Athens Sunsets, the latter being with assistance from an A.I.

* * * *

Ann Marie
One of the highlights of last night's Salon was a poetry competition in which everyone was invited to write a love poem for Wussow's Concert Cafe. The winning poem would go home with a diorama of the front part of the cafe facing the street, a familiar space for all the regulars here with art on the wall, two tables set alongside the spacious windows. A diorama is a replica of a scene, typically 3-D, often in miniature, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase.

The diorama I won was assembled in a shoebox by Ann Marie Geniusz, who manages the art displays for Jason and Tina. The fun part is that she created it inside a Size 12 Newport Retro shoebox, the shoes Jason wears. 

My Love Poem to Wussow's

Whether it rains or snows
each time I stop by it grows,
the warmth, like a fireplace, 
tickles my toes.

It comforts my bones,
and on my face it shows;
when I speak of this place
it gushes, and a firehose
burst of gratitude flows.

And so, and so, and so it goes.

(That last line is a tip o' the hat to Vonnegut.)

* * * 

EdNote: If you read this and know the last names of the poets who read last night please send leave a comment or send me an email or contact me through FB.  I will update. Thanks.

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