The pre-Valentine’s couples reading event started at about the same time the rain began pelting the tin roof at the SPC in a way that reminded one of a hail of machine gun bullets and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
The evening started off with the host Indigo Moor reading a poem by e.e. cummings and then exiting into the rain after a little while. Bob Stanley then took over the hosting duties.
The first couple up, starting off the reading, was Tom Goff and Nora Staklis. Nora read a poem she wrote when she was 12, a love haiku. She said she met Tom when she was his student at American River College. She noticed this guy skulking around, and that turned out to be Tom. Tom read a piece entitled “Folsom Lake Sonnet,” a piece that ventured into the cosmos, and a piece based on Thomas Hardy.
Tom Goff and Nora Staklis
Next up was Erik and Terryl (in her signature black Converse). She apologized for doing her poems for the million and first time (but that she hasn’t written very many poems lately) . . . hopefully not due to health problems. After the first poem one of the members of the audience became agitated that she couldn’t hear Terryl over the didgeridoo. The volume was turned up on the mic, but after the second poem the audience member continued to complain. now I may not know too much, but I know enough not to heckle the didgeridoo player. Dat dere is a mighty big stick! Alone, henpecked by a woman that wasn’t even his wife, Erik politely sat down for the last piece that Terryl did by herself.
Terryl and Erik
Christina and Art Mantecon then took their place before the reading stand. Christina read a fairly long piece that was quite revealing about domestic goings-on at the Mantecon house. Some mention was made of a three-bad dog walk and an errant step out of the bed onto some cat vomit. Art read two poems inspired by the Beats in their rhythmic delivery and in their flurry of images and invocations of things seen (known as “eyeball kicks” to Ginsberg and the gang). The first poem was written at a time before he met Christina when he didn’t think he was going to meet anyone else to share his life with. The second poem was a tour de force poem written during a trip to Montreal, full of the ambience of city life,eyes turned admiringly to a beloved, French phrases and a trip to a bookstore. C’est magnifique!
Art Mantecon & Christina Mantecon
At last the first family of Sacramento Poetry came to the fore—Carol and Laverne Frith. Carol was in a formal mood for the evening and read several stately sonnets, one that celebrated (is that the right word?) the disparities in love. Laverne read his elegant crafted poems (without a speck of cereal in them)! They celebrated local landmarks that have served for his and Carol’s long commitment to each other. They just recently passed the 25-year mark. Let’s hope the disparities for the next 25 years are not too great for them to overcome.
Carol and Laverne Frith
. . . And as the last few members trickled out into the night, somebody was still complaining about that damn didgeridoo player.