It was a long time ago, but still it happened, and we need to acknowledge that.
Here's how it all shook down:
Christopher Newgent, like Jeter or Johnny Damon, like Ricky Henderson or Joe Morgan, read "Annex" from Amy Hempel's Tumble Home.
Luara Relyea followed with an excerpt from David Griffith's "Symphony #1" which comes from his provocative A Good War Is Hard to Find. Mr. Griffith will be in town this week, as he is one of the featured guests of the 3rd Annual In-Print Festival. You should go.
Nate Logan, picking up on the themes of war that were introduced in both the Hempel and the Griffith, read from Denise Duhamel's Queen for a Day. He read her poems, "How to Help Children Through Wartime" and "What Happened This Week." Then he read two of her poems from one of his favorite books (of hers), Kinky, which feature poems from, about, of, for Barbie and her friends. He read "Barbie is a Religious Fanatic" and "Literary Barbie."
Matt Netzley then read three of his own poems: "God is a City Bus," "The Postmodern Joke," and "The Day You Lost Faith in Humanity." Later, after changing chairs and being inspired by his new perspective on the world and by a recent edition of Bazaar, Matt read "Found Poem." It helped, for a moment, and that's what matters.
Emily Boshkoff read "Ten Years After Your Deliberate Drowning" from Robin Behn's book The Red Hour and two of her own poems, "Apologize" and "To Date You, Being Deaf."
Drew Davis then read a very short piece that he had written during the meeting, tentatively titled "Hero." It was about his brother who serves for one of the armed forces branches. It wasn't about what NBC would want it to be about. We all wanted to hear more. Again, the theme of war surfaced, and none of this was premeditated.
I read three poems by the tremendous Apollinaire, who is like a cardinal living in Antarctica. You may not think it could happen, but it can. I read "The Pretty Redhead," "The Little Car," and "A Phantom of Clouds."
And that was it. We went our separate ways and the night fizzled and popped like a can of soda just opened. And someone drank it. Because what's worse than finding a full can of warm soda.