Songs, Dances, Poems & Gifts of December

December Greetings, Dear Fellow Rascals (aging & otherwise)

The final month of the eventful year of 2022 has begun and is already moving forward with lightning speed.  As you might imagine, Sunday’s “Group Soup Book Launch” is taking a lot of my time this week, but it’s not the only thing happening. There is so much we could talk about, so much I’d like you to know about … but where to begin and where to stop?

I’m going to limit myself to four items of potential interest.

If you’re local to Portland and don’t have other plans for Friday evening, you might consider heading down to Pioneer Courthouse Square for the annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. It starts at 5:30 and features, among other groups, our Portland Raging Grannies, who last year took Third Place,  belting out a variety of Holiday Parodies like “Slow Down Ye Frantic Shoppers” and “Rudolph the Union Reindeer”.  We’ll be on one of the corners around the square and would welcome your singalong.

Also happening this weekend at PSU’s Lincoln Hall … a very unique “Nightmare Before Christmas”, created and performed by Steps PDX, with sliding scale tickets. You might remember a piece we featured in September on the website about Denise Busch’s work with Danceability. You’ll see them in this show.

Change of pace …  I’ve been taking an online class with the poet Ellen Bass these past weeks and just the other day, she sent out what she called a Public Service Announcement, beginning with the line “If poetry is meaningful to you, please buy poetry books.”  The piece goes on to remind those of us to whom poetry is meaningful that the pandemic hit small presses hard. Unable to sell at conferences and festivals, both poets and publishers lost a major source of income. It’s a provocative PSA that I hope you’ll take a minute to read, ending with a reminder that poetry books make lovely holiday gifts. And while Ellen encourages not buying used poetry books, don’t miss the poem, “Used Book”, at the end of this post … along with a reminder that Speaking of Poetry and … is on for 4pm PST this Sunday.

Speaking of holiday gifts (and if this comes under the heading of ‘shameless marketing’, so be it) I want to direct your attention (Proud Mama here) to my daughter Chris’s Etsy site At Home in Oregon.

Our creative female genetic line is now in its third iteration. My mother’s creativity manifested in sewing everything from our matching dresses & coats (yes, coats!) to slipcovers and curtains, hooking rugs and planting flower beds. My creative spirit shows itself in cooking, designing interior spaces, and writing, which I have admitted I do partly because I can’t draw or paint (or sew). Chris, on the other hand, is multi-talented … she’s done pottery, stained glass, all kinds of sewing and now this!  Check her out on Facebook.

And here’s that poem I promised.  It’s by Julie Kane and was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac this week.

Used Book
by Julie Kane

What luck—an open bookstore up ahead
as rain lashed awnings over Royal Street,
and then to find the books were secondhand,
with one whole wall assigned to poetry;
and then, as if that wasn’t luck enough,
to find, between Jarrell and Weldon Kees,
the blue-on-cream, familiar backbone of
my chapbook, out of print since ’83—
its cover very slightly coffee-stained,
but aging (all in all) no worse than flesh
through all those cycles of the seasons since
its publication by a London press.
Then, out of luck, I read the name inside:
The man I thought would love me till I died.

And here’s the link to Sunday’s Speaking of Poetry and …  

Almost last, but not least, just a reminder that if you’ve got things to say and are not jumping into the conversation, and if you’re not sending these little missives on to friends, we’re not really drawing the circle wider …

Absolutely last for this week …. Watch for next week’s links to two very special Holiday music extravanganzas!!

So glad we’re making our way through this beautiful, crazy, world together & hoping to see some of you on Sunday!!

Published by Sulima Malzin

This 'Aging Rascal & Occasional Writer' invites you to embrace the world through her open window of poetry, art, activism, music, and humor.

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I’ll see you at Figgy Pudding! I hope it’s not as cold and wet as last year…

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