Friday, November 15, 2013

My Son, the Poet?

A couple of weeks back, I did a local reading at Sip This cafe', in Valley Stream, a near suburb of New York City, and just a few miles from the hometown to which I returned in 2008, because my wife and I wanted Bradley to be close to at least one side of his family. We did not move back here for the poetry scene, though there is a lively one.

On this particular night a few months back I was reading with Gerry LaFemina, a great poet, a great friend, and the father of grown son. Gerry was happy Bradley was going to watch us do our thing. Bradley's only previous reading was at the Brownstone Poets Series in a diner in Downtown Brooklyn, when he was two. At that reading he managed to disrupt the proceedings and upset a lot of the grumpier regulars. This time would be different.

Bradley sat mostly quiet, and occasionally got up for one of the cafe''s good cookies or to use the bathroom. I'd given Bradley my Kindle, so he could play an app or two in case he got bored. Just after Gerry read, he came over, sat on my lap, and asked if he could read a poem. He had seen me search the poems I had on the Kindle. I knew that he would not be the first kid to read at Sip This, having seen young Atticus and Rainer Pasca read with their parent/poets Matt Pasca and Terri Muuss.

After the last open mic-er had read, it was Bradley's turn. People started getting up to leave, but Bradley was unfazed, took the mic, and launched into it:

Your Mother

I celebrate your mother and sing your mother,
and what I assume your mother shall assume.
And though I could not stop for your mother
she kindly stopped for me. Your mother, after all,
is not so old I could omit her, because

there is no country for old mothers.

Of course my boy chose one of the silliest and most vulgar poems I have, because he knows how to please a crowd. So all well and good, except that after the reading he asked me when the next reading was. So now we have to find a new poem for him to do. And guess who's reading with Daddy on our mutual birthday weekend? 

How long before we're workshopping? 

1 comment:

  1. Hey George - thanks for the shout out! :) And congrats on Bradley reading. I am often jealous of the YES with which kids undertake their days... i know i have become much braver since having Rainer and Atticus and learning from them. Good stuff! Wish I could have seen you and Gerry. - Matt P.


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