Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dispatch from Dodge, last day, Sunday Oct 1

I woke to more rain and the tightness in my chest has deepened into a cough lodged partway between a tickle and pain. Coffee smells stale in my cup and I worry about the drive home.

But I am here and this homecoming from diaspora only happens every other year.

I track fresh mud to the car and drive one final time into Waterloo Village.

Coleman Barks and Robert Bly had already begun their poetic volley: the poems of Rumi and Hafez. Music darts between them, a tongue between teeth, and just as essential to meaning.

Bly brings the Ghazal to sweet new life, the repetition joyous, not cloying in his mouth. Glen Valez makes his drum magic while his wife, Lori Cotler, sits near us cradled in the same web of sound.

The sun came out as I walked out of the main tent, shining on bedraggled poets, leaking, dripping tents, mud strewn paths, gravel.

Later, I am sitting in a NJ diner. The clink, clink, clink of spoons against cups is a kind of poetry, the dull buzz of rising conversations a music. Speakers thrum with 70's music and I wish they would be struck dumb. I prefer that other, older music, the tentative rhythm of humans making noise alone and then together, not even knowing they are composing an endless symphony.

The chicken soup soothes my throat and chest and the waitress really calls me 'hon.'


  1. Thanks for sharing Dodge with us - have enjoyed the vicarious experience very much. Travel home safely. Cheers, Nic

  2. Just echoing nic's sentiment and dropping by to tell you that I fixed your gender in my post pointing to yours! Thanks so much for sharing. Gods willing, perhaps we'll meet there in two years!

  3. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for posting these dispatches. They have become part of my Dodge experience this year, along with going to New Jersey (200-something miles away, where we who live twenty-something miles away from each other finally met). It was wonderful to meet you. You are terrific.