This poem was published in "Conjunction: 2002 Calgary Stroll Anthology," by the Society of Poets Bards and Storytellers. The anthology was part of an annual reading series in Calgary's Kensington district. I was called as the first reader at "The Second Cup" café, though, between the bad acoustics and the abominable sound system, I sounded like I had been bound and gagged, and was trying to gnaw my way out of a gunnysack while simultaneously crying for help...all the other poets were similarly reduced to the anonymity of incomprehensible mumblings - save for one tall, confident poet, who cleverly strode to the center of the polygonal space, and projected his voice into the audience, without the microphone's aid (hindrance). Not only did he think quickly on his feet, his work was also quite good. My hat's off to him - even if the cappucchino machine and coffee grinder still managed, from time to time, to drown him out.
For most of us, it was a lost opportunity to be heard, which is a pity. Still, the cappucchino was good, and the anthology quite attractive. My husband and I enjoyed window-shopping and looking in a few bookstores afterwards with a couple of friends who had come specially for the reading.
Since this is a poem about an habitué of another Calgary café, I am happy that it was published locally.
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