By Clyde Davis
This particular column is geared to all of you who want to hear some really fine writers perform their works in public. You notice that I used the word perform, because … well, some really fine writers simply read their works, and some of that will be going on, too. But the last time I was part of a public reading, several of the folks really came through with their on-stage presence.
At the Java Loft, on Saturday, April 24, there will be an open reading. It will be primarily geared to poetry, and is being billed as “Percolated Poets,” but there will, no doubt, be some other folks bringing creative work of an original nature. It starts at 7 p.m.
There, my friends, are all the salient facts. Oh, yeah, obviously it’s free, except for whatever you choose to drink or eat. You may be familar enough with the host to know that they offer a good variety.
So why go? Well, you may go to read. I am. This is an open mike night, which means that anyone who has creative work to share is invited to read or better yet perform your work. I have been kicking this idea for a novel around in my head for almost a year.
I never dared think about writing a novel until my friend Michelle started working on hers. … So you may get to hear chapters one and two. Or I may read some favored columns from this page, or a short story. Probably bring a brief poem; one thing I learned is that practically nobody but my wife wants to hear my love poems to my wife. … Well, maybe I will just bring poems. Who knows? Probably write a poem for my new granddaughter. …
Speaking of Michelle, I asked her if she was going to update us with new chapters from the novel, but she seemed more inclined to bring some short fiction. Geralyn will be there, sharing her beautiful inspirational poetry, steeped in experience. With any kind of luck, Dr. Morrow will grace us with some cowboy poetry. Tony Oldknow has promised to come if he is in town.
This is just a partial list and the real point is that it is open to everyone. You may have never taken the risk to read your work out loud. Wouldn’t this be a good place to start? I think it will be a very accepting crowd. Oh, sure, you may get some guy who has one too many double espressos and gets loud and obnoxious … hey, maybe that will be me. Wouldn’t that be a funny idea for a poem?
The other real point is this: In lots of places in the world, this is what people do — they work on relationships, not TV screens. They gather on a free night, with those whom they know and with friends they haven’t yet met, and spend time together. Spring seems like a great time to do that, to remind yourself that life should be counted in the real world, not reality TV.
It may not be your thing, but have you tried it? Get shed of all those images of a bunch of high-brow pseudo-intellectuals gathering to read incomprehensible stuff. That would turn me off, too. But this will be fun and entertaining, and perhaps a chance for the folks who know there is always something happening in Clovis to get together. See you there.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at