April 12, 2016

Friday, April 16, 2010

NPM 50 State Tour -- A Pit Stop

Great road trips aren't just about cool destinations. They're also about unexpected pit stops.

No state poet laureate visits today. I'm pulling into this rest stop to savor the moment -- it's Baltimore's CityLit Festival tomorrow (here's the schedule -- I'm on with Stanley Plumly at 1:30). My new poetry chapbook gets its debut.

Totally jazzed to be reading in legendary Enoch Free Pratt Library's Poe Room, where this portrait hangs. Poe is one of my literary heroes.

I decided to try a voice coach. Thinking I'd show up at the reading sounding like Lauren Bacall. Not so fast, Shovan.

Talk about taking the scenic route. Mary Naden had me lying on the floor, dancing around the room and singing like an opera star. Somewhere along the way, I slowed down, stopped worrying about sounding throaty and alluring, and reconnected with the images in my poems. Wow.

Here is a poem from the chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone. It's about unexpected pit stops.

Tomorrow is Going to Be Normal
by Laura Shovan

Walking home from the school bus, my son says,
“Tomorrow is going to be normal.”
He speaks with the confidence of relief.
When every day is the same, he can breathe.

Each morning, I tell myself,
Today, is the day
I wait for the remarkable to land on my shoulder
or call me on the phone.

Sometimes it is a fortune written on the tag of my tea.
Sometimes it is a bird. Other days
I miss the quiet calling to attention.
I go to bed tired.

My son knows there is comfort in monotony.
Do I really want the phone to ring? It could be the lottery
or a hospital calling. He thinks my life is enough:
the mildness of the room when I am the only thing moving in it.

No. I must begin each day
wanting the next few hours to jolt me out of sameness.
He shakes his head. That we could be so different
we both find remarkable.

 Thank you for helping me celebrate one of those remarkable days. Stop by CityLit Festival tomorrow and say "hi!"

Today's Poetry Friday is brought to you by the letter "J"! Remarkable Jules at 7 Impossible Things is hosting the poetry blog roll.


Jeannine Atkins said...

My eyes misted at the line "I waited for the remarkable to land on my shoulder," and never dried up. Wonderful.

all things poetry said...

Wow, Laura, you are keeping impressive company . . . Stanley Plumly. Hanging out in Poe's Room. Enjoy your time!

Your poem is absolutely beautiful!! Congrats on your book. Best wishes for success!

Laura Evans

Author Amok said...

Jeannine, thanks. I'm reading this poem today. It's wonderful to know that it strikes a chord.

Laura -- hi! I'm not freaking out. Really. I appreciate your kind words. I have a poetry lesson I'd like to share with you. Let's chat by email.