Making a Poem out of Dionysus, Pneumatology, Equanimous, and Boobearalicious:
The 16th Annual Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon & Benefit
by Julie Strand
On Saturday January 30th, 2010 from 10am-1am Woodland Pattern will host it’s 16th Annual Poetry Marathon and Benefit. This year’s Marathon is EXTRA special because it will be the Kick-Off Event to launch Woodland Pattern’s 30th year!
Over 150 local and not so local writers show their support for WP by reading five minutes of their work to a packed house and by raising at least $35 in pledges to benefit the year-round programming. Although $35 is the minimum, there has always been a prize for the reader who raises the most money. Jacqueline Lalley, has been the winner or runner-up of this prize for the past three? years. You may ask? Wow how does she get so many people to pledge money? There are two reasons, Jacqueline is an exception writer, but she also came up with a plan for raising pledges. Jacqueline’s plan is simple, contact everyone she knows asking them to pledge her $20 and she will throw in a bonus, not only are they supporting Woodland Pattern’s programming, they can choose a word, any word, and Jacqueline will put that word into a poem, which she will read at the Marathon. As you may have guessed, she has received a wide variety of words, often given just to really challenge Jacqueline, Dionysus, pneumatology, equanimous, and boobearalicious are just a few.
The poetry that comes out of the words is always interesting and the audience always loves to hear the final product of Jacqueline’s fundraising efforts. Below are the poems that came out of the last two years.
Stimulus Package: A 2008 Marathon Poem by Jacqueline Lalley
Call me crazy, call me a sparkly
foundling dazzled by the
possibilities of this ubiquitous
existence. Still, I will insist
it takes more than six hundred
dollars to stimulate me.
Or call me what you’re
yearning for, my foundling,
flummoxed by fidelity to things
that cost no money:
let me be your Dionysus—
ribald, supine in a tantric revelry
over some strange piece of
art—a mere morceau,
a tiny mezzotint of a giraffe
or canvass of a hippopotamus,
nostrils peering out across its
lost limnetic habitat.
To parse: bipartisan economics
to the changeling party-god
nor to the party animal. Perhaps
it’s partly God’s intention that we be
at loggerheads on inconspicuous
consumption. Consider Chris,
the man who bit into a sausage
the nature of the universe—
then, hungry for more knowledge,
ordered up some ham and cutlets.
This is known
as the parable of the wiener.
Liquor, too, exacerbates things—
even I forget redemption
can be found in something other
than an empty bottle. Still,
consider me your cable car
to kwan, your boobearalicious
partner in peek-a-boo.
Call me a socialist, call me Jozef,
call me late to red-up
for the shopping frenzy
of the haves and the must-haves. Just
do not defenestrate my system of belief
in the impossible. Don’t make
a doughnut of my pneumatology.
My dear, don’t call the fuzz on me.
Remember: you’re invited to the party.
Poetry Marathon Poem 2009 by Jacqueline Lalley
When Thomas Beazley awoke from surgery
they had managed not only
to clear his artery,
but to correct a birth defect.
And so, he emerged a man
stronger than he’d ever been.
The doctor who’d delivered him was chosen by virtue
of his safe, if boisterous, liberation
of many a sweet pea.
The father had painted the bedroom
vermillion, for that was the boy’s first word,
called out from within,
from next to the mother’s sacroiliac
as the parents rode the #10 back
from a marvelous talk
on the Maldives’ Huraa dynasty.
Well, the reception was marvelous,
the mother laughed.
The father laughed too, as he watched her
bounce and grip the rail
like a callipygous cowgirl.
Then, from out of her, out of nowhere,
that word—vermillion. Actually
the boy had said “a million
heartfelt geese await me, dad,
and thou shalt shepherd these
across Nakoma Golf Course
to the pond upon the hospital grounds
where I will smile
and pee on you.”
This is what he’d said,
however, a layer of marvelous
artichoke dip had interfered
and when the boy was born, he cried,
and the doctor shouted “Geronimo!”
and the father knew he’d failed,
and the mother belched,
and the boy became a man.
and when the man awoke from his surgery
they had managed to clear not just his artery,
but his memory. And so, he was stronger
than he’d ever been,
stronger than Phineas Gage,
for he’d survived much worse
than a steel rail through the head.
Thomas Beazley had survived
a world where no geese were there
to greet him, and then survived
to care nothing
(Insert uncomfortably long pause.)
Have you heard?
Is the new friendly.
Is the new zany,
Oh, to be in full control of one’s faculties, poised and self-possessed.
There are still spots open in the 2010 Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon and Benefit. If you are interested in reading in the event and supporting the year-long programming that happens right here in Riverwest, please call 414-263-5001. If you are more of a listener, please support the local writers and Woodland Pattern by sponsoring a reader and coming to the Marathon on Saturday, January 30th. A day-long ticket is only $8.