the traveling poetess (excerpt)
She read in musty auditoriums, in drafty gymnasiums, in brightly lit bookstores, the hum of commerce in the background. She read in clattering coffee houses, in classrooms so quiet she could hear the beating of her own heart. She read in multi-purpose rooms, in libraries, in community centers, in rec rooms, in hospitals, in senior centers, in prisons; in colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. She read to empty chairs, to crying babies, to sleepless mothers. She read to the homeless lured by warmth and the promise of free refreshments. She read to people who came out of a downpour, in search of temporary shelter, dripping water onto the floor. She read to murderers and rapists. She read to the maimed and injured, to the sick and the convalescent. She read to arthritis and to cancer. She read wherever there was a podium and someone willing to listen. Once, she arrived at one of her readings only to discover it had been cancelled and replaced by an anime fan club meeting. Another time, her voice had to compete with the voluminous snores of a man napping in the back row.
The rest of this story is only available in the printed edition of Monday Night 9.
dan moreau’s work appears in Redivider, Los Angeles Review, and
Prism Review. He blogs at dlmoreau.wordpress.com.