Last Thursday I hosted our second spoken word Open Mic at The Hideaway Cafe. Size, it’s said, doesn’t matter, but it should if you’re talking about a worthy endeavor finding an audience (other things too, it’s said). As such, it was gratifying that we doubled the attendance from November’s inaugural event.

My first takeaway: there’s considerable talent in downtown Winchester, and these monthly events (first Thursday each month at 6:00 pm) will hopefully become events, drawing a diverse and enthusiastic group of regulars. (Sidenote: we had some readers come from “over the mountain,” driving more than an hour to participate!)

My second takeaway: if you are a creative type, and perhaps especially if you are not a creative type, watching another human being express original thought –live and without a net in front of a crowd– can be impactful, and may inspire you in ways you wouldn’t imagine.

In addition to building and celebrating community (thanks again to Victoria Kidd for the awesome & inclusive vibe she’s cultivated in Old Town Winchester), it’s impossible to leave an event like this the same person you were before you arrived. That’s one way to describe the power and possibility of art. The unique dialogue live expression instigates (with others; with oneself) is impactful. I encourage you to come see for yourself!

The goal here is simply to provide a safe and fun forum for those willing to share their work. I’m hoping we’ll be able to capture some video and I’ll begin posting these recordings each month, along with text of the poems, stories, essays, et cetera (with the authors’ permission, of course). At the end of the year, we’ll look to assemble a proper collection of the best work from the series.

Our featured writer this month is David Hubbard (photo of the author below), and his poem “Proposal.” David’s a local writer and all-around wonderful human being; word on the street is that he’ll be back to share more of his work. Come meet him and many other talented and passionate folks. Spread the word and bring your own stuff, if inclined; all are welcome.

will you go out with me, circle:
yes or no, and I promise not to wander far,
though if we must, I swear we’ll return
to these terrestrial garbs and unsought gravity
and pitiless decay and unanswerable questions: like
if there are two sides to every coin,
on what edge does the quarter spin?
and the light streaming from the far side of the sun,
where do they end? or, where do we begin?

You had chosen to believe in life, in love,
in a god no one had seen, in tomorrow, in dreams,
perhaps even in me.
I believed in you, as real to me as that once
when we stood side by side at the canyon of universe,
your face illumined by ares from a trillion stars.
As I scanned the void for our sun’s familiar glint,
You brushed my arm then pointed beyond, as if
to say, We are out there, somewhere, I think.

See you in 2020!

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