Bluejay gets a poetry gig

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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:51 pm

Bluejay, jus' don't wear anything that detracts... so that sequined thong and top hat idea is OUT,lol! BTW, will there be a recording of it..? I'd really love a copy of that, if it happens. My apparel quip jus' reminded me of a guy who played guitar in a jug band with me back in high school: he used to wear a tux & tails with a World War I flying helmet and goggles to our gigs. Of course, that was in the days of Acid, MDA, Mescaline, etc. Best wishes.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:26 pm

Hey Bubba, thanks for the advice! :blink: On a related note to your old bandmate, I'm not going to read anything I wrote during that period, either. :wink:

Yes, there will be a recording made. It will get posted as a podcast through our library's web page. Once it's available, I'll let you know. Thanks for the encouragement and interest.

One of my colleagues is even skipping band practice to attend, which makes me feel good. Hope the band doesn't mind too much; don't want to contribute to any musician drama. 8)
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:37 pm

I also jus' remembered that we played one deal at a coffeehouse with that band ("The Cretin Society",lol!) where we all wore our gym suits... khaki gym shorts, white "wife beaters" and gym shoes. Wonder what Walter Tore would think of those uniforms. Yeah, be sure to let me know about the link to the podcast.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby maxx england » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:21 am

jeffl wrote:Bluejay, jus' don't wear anything that detracts... so that sequined thong and top hat idea is OUT,lol!

My apparel quip jus' reminded me of a guy who played guitar in a jug band with me back in high school: he used to wear a tux & tails with a World War I flying helmet and goggles to our gigs. Of course, that was in the days of Acid, MDA, Mescaline, etc. Best wishes.




I've wondered myself about the suitability of the little red skirt and white trainers; do I have the legs for it?

Does the guitar player still have his gear, and what size was he?
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:16 pm

Well it went great. Total audience headcount was 31, which for a poetry reading in a small northwoods town is fantastic. Attendees were about an even mix of towns folk and college faculty/staff. Once the library director tells me the podcast is posted, I'll get a link up. He took some photos, too. For the first event of its type at the library, he was mighty pleased with the results.

One of the strange things about reading poetry is audience reaction. Sometimes they are so quiet, you're not sure if they are just paying close attention or if you've lost them, or worse, offended them in some way. As it turned out, from comments afterwards, it was paying close attention. Whew.

The love poems I've written for my wife seemed to garner the best reaction. Some are pretty sensual, without being "R" rated. I have a sequence called The Bed Poems, and when I announced them, along with putting up a slide of a great painting of an unmade bed, one older lady let out a little, "Oh!" But that's nothing new with that set of poems. 8)

I managed to pace it pretty well and extracted a few laughs with between-poem comments. It helps to lighten things up after a few poems where death has a significant presence. :wink: And I only had a couple places where I "choked" a little on a word because of a sticky throat. I worked the water glass pretty good.

So I'm really happy with my performance overall.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:43 pm

Well, good shootin' then, Jeff! Maybe that'll get a thing goin' there for the future. I'm glad it went so well; you're an old pro though, so it's no surprise. Hell, if you can't do something like that well, then we're in a heap of trouble. I'll bet it's nice to get to the place in your trade where you can take inventory and realize that you've accumulated the skills necessary to get the job done very well. Keep on truckin'.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:29 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Bubba. That's surely the upside of doing it for so long, even on an intermittent basis. The classroom and committee meetings may not be the same as giving a reading, but apparently they've helped polish the act somewhat. Of course, the library director was a bundle of nerves for the event, so it actually seemed to drain off some of my usual apprehension. I was pretty relaxed, the most ever in fact.

But, man, it makes you feel old when you start referencing your work in decades rather than years. :roll:
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:21 pm

bluejay wrote:Thanks for the kind words, Bubba. That's surely the upside of doing it for so long, even on an intermittent basis. The classroom and committee meetings may not be the same as giving a reading, but apparently they've helped polish the act somewhat. Of course, the library director was a bundle of nerves for the event, so it actually seemed to drain off some of my usual apprehension. I was pretty relaxed, the most ever in fact.

But, man, it makes you feel old when you start referencing your work in decades rather than years. :roll:
Yeah, I hadn't thought about it before Jeff, but you had the organizer in a very vulnerable position,lol! You coulda played with the director a little on that one...
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:50 pm

Yeah, Bubba. As the first event in his debut as an event organizer, he was sweating it -- literally, worrying about attendance, choice of date and time, etc. Timing was perfect in a way -- the new furniture he had ordered for the new lounge area, which was the venue, arrived the morning of the reading and he had it all in place. Compared to doing anything with music, I had no setup beyond arriving an hour early and making sure the PowerPoint was running smoothly through the laptop/projector system. At the end, I just packed my binder of poems and the CD-R in my shoulder bag and left, while the director and library work-study students set about rearranging the chairs, removing the podium, and dealing with the left-over refreshments. I even offered to help and he sent me off. Sweet.

Amazingly this may turn into something more in coming weeks/months. My V.P. of instruction was in the audience and really enjoyed the reading. Talking to him today, I suggested that since it is hard for folks from other towns in our district to attend such events (the nearest real towns are 20 to 25 miles away), maybe I should go on tour -- I was half kidding and wasn't looking for any real response, but he got excited by the idea and said we should go for it. The person who handles PR for the college was in his office at the time and she thought she could arrange something, such as hitting the various libraries in the district. So we'll see if I go on the road with my little poetry show, probably after Xmas I'd imagine. The school would at least pay my mileage and I can count such activities towards teacher re-certification requirements.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:33 pm

The podcast of the reading is now available at:

http://library.nicoletcollege.edu/cours ... sp?id=1070

Hope you enjoy it. 8)
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:30 pm

Oooh, now mebbe you WILL have to get some new clothes,lol! You'll have to come up with a name for your tour, of course, and you may need some musical sidemen. Mebbe the "Headwaters Tour", with the Flowage Flotsam Band,lol..? You'd better look into a federal NEA grant 'n' get geared up.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:50 pm

Bubba, I love the tour and band names! As for wardrobe, when I read I kept it pretty simple, a wine red button-down shirt with blackish-blue Levis and a black leather sport coat. Sophisticated casual was the goal. 8)

I've listened to almost half of the podcast. A bit of digital oddness around the edges, I think from background noise, but otherwise pretty good for the level of mic and recorder. Plenty of volume, certainly. My voice actually sounds better than I expected -- maybe it has finally stopped "changing". :lol: Someday I'll get brave (read "stupid") enough to try singing in public. :oops:

Maybe, Bubba, I should come over to your neck o' the woods and do a bar reading with harp accompaniment?
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:01 pm

bluejay wrote:Bubba, I love the tour and band names! As for wardrobe, when I read I kept it pretty simple, a wine red button-down shirt with blackish-blue Levis and a black leather sport coat. Sophisticated casual was the goal. 8)

I've listened to almost half of the podcast. A bit of digital oddness around the edges, I think from background noise, but otherwise pretty good for the level of mic and recorder. Plenty of volume, certainly. My voice actually sounds better than I expected -- maybe it has finally stopped "changing". :lol: Someday I'll get brave (read "stupid") enough to try singing in public. :oops:

Maybe, Bubba, I should come over to your neck o' the woods and do a bar reading with harp accompaniment?
That kinda stuff would go over very well in some of the venues on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi valley, as well as a coupla places farther inland, in Minn-ee-soot-a, eh. There's an old opera house in Alma, Wi., where one of the local musicians books regional acts. Those communities are very arts friendly, full of artists, craftsmen, retired educators, and hippie relics. Winter is always the best time to do that sort of stuff, cuz of course in the summer everybody's out on the river and in the woods. Check out http://www.crossingsatcarnegie.com. BTW, I'll have to check out your link from home tonite.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:15 pm

Artists, craftspeople, retired educators and hippie relics... Hey, those are my "peeps"! :wink:
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby ricochet » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:41 pm

Yeah, take your poultry gig on the road, Bluejay!

Abingdon, Virginia, right up the road from me, is full of artists, craftspeople, poets, retired educators, hippy relics and Democrats. Bring it there and I'll get to see you. :D
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