April 12, 2015
Scissortail Creative Writing Festival - Scissortail After Dark, April 3
After the evening reading we partied at the Ada Arts & Heritage Center for jazz standards by The Moonlighters Combo, then a classic open mic. The readers were a mix of students from ECU, writers who had read in the Festival & some community poets — I felt right at home.
The host was Jonathan Kelly who also signed himself up on the list.
First up was Brian Mitchell who started us off with a poem with Carl Sagan making the universe from his bedroom, then, of all things, a villanelle, “Rock Paper Scissors” about competing for a girl.
Catfish joined us with a couple of his quirky poems, “Pocket Altar” (smart phones making us one with the universe) & the marvelously titled “The Bean of Efficiency.”
A poet who identified himself as “Sher-man” & said he was a Freshman at ECU read a poem titled “The Path to Love” that took us up in the wind & clouds, falling off the Earth into a kiss & love.
Matt Calvert read from the ECU lit magazine Originals his poem “The Tide Rips the Night Wide Open” then a cento titled “Soul Unction” using lines from poems in Best American Poetry 2014.
Tori Watson also read from Originals; her poem was titled “Rape Culture,” then a piece of flash fiction “Cats Really Aren’t that Bad.”
This was when our host Jonathan Kelly stepped up to read, “Gators & Cross,” then "5AM" (working on his computer & wondering about his next crush), & “Heart Specialist.”
Shamika Sanders also read a poem to her father “What Happened,” then an untitled piece on racism, written today.
I was next & read my poem written after my first trip here “Oklahoma Sunday” then, for the holiday, “What Passover Has Taught Me.”
Jessica Isaacs who had read in the first session of Scissortail read a poem by Greg Rogers titled “Black Dutch” a term sometimes used by Native people to mask their native heritage.
The last poet in the open mic was the other Albany poet, Sally Rhoades, who read a poem about her father, “The Sky is my Witness,” then the celebratory “I Want to Be Swathed in Beauty,” & a poem written after the last time she was at Scissortail, about wanting to explore her own heritage, “I Can’t Hear You.”
Wherever I go in this country I seem to be able to find open mics, poets everywhere reading to each other.