Combining Poetry & Music Inspired by The Open Reading

This year I inherited a community event--The Open Reading. The woman who ran it for 8 years, Susan, called me in the fall and told me she was done with hosting  and asked me if I would like to take over. I was honored. The Open Reading is an event in Todos Santos that was started twenty years ago by another woman, now in her 80's, as way to bring the English-speaking writers together in the area of Todos Santos. My goal, ultimately, would for it to become a bi-lingual event--as the first Mariposa Night was.

I hosted the last open reading of the season in May at Taverna Dominique--which has since closed.  Even though I had brought my microphone and amp that day, our voices could not be amplified because the electricity was down. Instead, we sat closer together than usual, and read from our seats. It was more intimate than other open readings, and the first women who read asked for feedback--which I had never seen happen before. This prompted everyone to ask for feedback. The discussions and the lack of amplification made the event feel more like a workshop. This felt right to me, as it often feels strange after a reading to not receive feedback. Reading your writing in public is vulnerable, and it is important to get a sense of how people respond to your work.

I read last, as I always do since I became host. I read my piece about Mariposa Night. I wrote it in a more experimental style that I've been trying lately, which is a combination of an essay, a story & a poem. After reading it, I received some very positive feedback. One person told me that it made her want to go to Mariposa Night--which was one of the goals of the piece. One writer, Michael, suggested that I record my voice speaking the piece, and add music. I really liked that idea. I had already been experimenting with this idea in a collaboration with my amazing & talented therapist/musician/artist friend Holly Mae. In our collaboration, I wove two different poems together, thus masking them. You can listen to it here. It's called Open Up The Space.

I have yet to make a recording of the Mariposa Night piece. But instead, I recorded myself reading one of my recent poems that I like, called A Spider's Poem. I read the poem in three different voices and then layered the voices in different ways--even though they overlap, the repetition of the same poem highlights the lines rather than masking them.

Here it is:

Aesthetic responses?

What is the feeling of this piece?

What images does it bring?

Is it hard to grasp because of the layering or does the meaning come through?