In which Bentley stands up, Dan eats vegetables, and a poet is reborn

Another old post from MSN.  Note the year.  This was one of the greatest nights of my life.

 From: Bentley  (Original Message)  4/5/2005 9:29 PM
I wrote a poem about the death of my father.  It was about Dad, dedicated to Jack McCarthy, and addressed to Dan.   It was my first specifically performance poem, and I read it to Dan at an open mike, kind of like, reading this to that bearded scholar guy back there, glad the rest of you are here.  I asked Dan to stand with me, and he stood, but he didn’t come to the podium.  After I was done, I was returning to my seat and Jack stood and embraced me.  I was hugged in public, in front of a whole bunch of other poets, by a nationally-known performance poet and poetry slammer.  It rocked. 
And Brad got to see it!  I hadn’t known until I read it online that that’s why Brad didn’t perform Orange Gloves, because he didn’t want to follow me.  That blew me away.  Part of my reason for going there was to see him do that poem.
Dan and I fell more deeply in love.  Well, I did.  he drove home, and I fed him nuts and bit the ends off cucumbers for him, and we recited poems to each other, our own and those of Wordsworth, Blake, Cummings, Yeats, Millay, et al,  on the whole ride back from Mohegan Lake, NY, across the Hudson on the Bear Mountain Bridge and down the Parkway that’s named for those cliffs, and through the dark to Green Brook, where I slept in his arms for two and a half hours, rising at 4am to drive to work.  A long ride before sunrise, with my window down, and I recited poems over and over and over, seeing which ones responded well to Bentleyesque storytelling voice. 
Would that life were made up of such nights.
Published in: on May 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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