Blogs by William F DeVault
at the bar in the Black Bear
4/8/2005 2:09:24 AM
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realting last night's command perfomance of poetry writing
Last evening, I went down to the Black Bear to hang and to write. The combination of the gentle ambience and friendly people make it a good place to relax.
I was about to take my usual seat, the back table, facing the door, when one of the servers smiled and accused me of always sitting there...so I sat at the bar, got my ice tea and chips, and started going through my notes. I keep a notebook full of little fragments and jots that might inspire new pieces...
I flirted with the notion of writing a cycle about the 'Bear. I wrote one about Anastasia's Asylum in Santa Monica, an aeon ago...
I had a bried discussion between myself and a couple of the servers about "blondness". Spring, one of the servers, is blonde and made some joke about having a blonde moment when she forgot something. I told her that, in my experience, real blondes are not dumb...the questionable ones have always been from that wedge of the population trying to pass for blonde. I think it has to do with peroxide fumes.
Up flounced (not in a bad way, flouncing is nice) Heather, one of the Amazonian shock troop of servers they have there. I have found all of them to be friendly, charming, literate and, each in her own way, attractive. No cookie-cutter mold of womanhood here, each stands apart on her own merits. I could do a substantial essay on the various merits of those I have gotten to know.
Heather asked me what I was doing and I replied "Writing poetry." (They know I write poetry, and that I often write there...the Daily Athenaeum interviewed me at my favourite table at the 'Bear for the article they did on me a few months ago.)
She asked me what it was about. I told her I didn't know yet.
She told me I should write a poem about her. Then she flounced over to the register to take an order. Again, note that flouncing is not a bad thing. It wouldn't fit some women, it would look artificial. Heather is a flouncer.
When she next passed by I told her I would write a poem of her if she'd tell me whether she wanted something "heavy" or "light"...after a brief exchange in which I explained it was basically with or without gravitas, she suggested "light".
It is not much an exercise for me to write on command, but I have this Achilles' Heel when it comes to pretty girls asking me to write about them. I also had to consider that I already have a well-known piece about a girl named Heather, although she is a fictional character.
So I wrote a brief piece about how she "flirts in fits and spurts" and how the men watch her as she moves about the room (she does and they do, she is quite lovely). I folded it, after making myself a copy and signing and annotating it, and put it on the bar.
One of the other women noticed the folded paper and asked what it was for, I explained what it was and she said I should write a piece about the Black Bear.
Two command performances in one night.
So I did. I even worked in a pun about the name of one of the other servers, Spring, who is a very sweet and smart young lady (something along the lines of, while drinking my iced tea "Spring returns with chips". Yeah, I know it's not Ogden Nash, but it works in the meter of the piece.
Let's see what feedback I get on these. Heather pocketed hers without reading it...she got very busy during the time I got to writing.
Oh, confession time, although I do like the food and iced tea at the 'Bear, originally the reason I started going there as much as I did was a small crush I had on yet another of the servers...but in the absence of anything other than a flickering deferential respect from her, eventually (on advice of a counseling friend) hung that one up without ever making any sort of a move.
On a completely unrelated note...I was called two days ago by a local newspaper to let me know that a letter to the editor I wrote was going to be in the paper in the "next day or two"...as it was not on Thursday, I figured this morning...still nope. Since it was regarding Sexual Assault Awareness Week, I will presume if it doesn't appear on Saturday, it is a dead issue. Or. because they really like it, they're holding it until the Sunday paper (outside of the bounds of the week, but much bigger audience...still it is mildly off putting to have a piece about rape kept off the editorial page by multiple letters about the football coach's new contract.
Guess I'll go back to the 'Bear toight.
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