I had a terrible time writing the summary article for this last (June 5th) event of our first season. It took me all of three days! It would normally take maybe three hours, including revisions. I was burnt out. My mind was rebelling at each phrase.
Well, it takes no genius to see if that’s the case now, at the end of season one, I’m going to need help from other people to get through a second year. Otherwise, my anxiety will go up even further after a little dip in the summer.
One thing I can do fairly well is solve problems on the fly.
I had finally gotten most of the summary down on paper (so to speak), but just the bare bones. So then I was trying my damndest to put some humour in it, as I had done to fairly good effect in the previous month’s summary. But humour requires a much more fluid and open mind than I was at all capable of. A mind like....Kevin Heslop’s. Well, a lot of people have fluid and open minds, but for a long time now I’ve been reading Kevin’s stuff, first his poetry and now prose. So he was my example. I began imagining myself as Kevin writing the summary. And then of Kevin writing it himself. And then I started to get excited. My god, what a great idea. Ask him to do it. Not only would it be better written, but I wouldn’t have to write a word! And that’s when I suddenly got the energy to get the summary done.
The thing is, just when I need someone the most for this, Kevin is ripe and ready to go. In the year that I’ve been reading his stuff, since we started the open mic, he’s gone through phases. First it was Bukowski, then D. H. Lawrence, and then Kerouac’s poetry and now his prose poetry, or poetic prose, or just prose or whatever it is. This prose thing happened on Kevin’s adventure in Montreal the week before the open mic. So he’s really into it now. (At least he was a day ago, but one day for him is like a month for me.) Well, the big news is I did ask him and he actually did say yes, he would give it a shot. So there we have it. Something different to look forward to. Now the problem will be having an open mic that stands up to it’s summary!! :) But I can tell you now that it will. For one thing, there are a bunch of open micers (plus our next feature) who are going away in July to their own special retreat to hatch up stuff! But more on that later.
For now, just to give you a feeling of how Kevin can report on an event, and what it might read like, I have a taste for you.
I follow Kevin's output on his blog and a week or so before the open mic he seemed to be slowing down. The flood was drying up. So I thought I would give him a new experience, picked him up and took him along on my job as a support worker for a guy who always likes to meet new people. After several hours, I dropped Kevin off at home. This was on his website maybe three quarters of an hour later. (He writes as fast as Kerouak ever did.)
THE KING, THE WHEELMAN AND THE BUSTED BLUE VAN
This afternoon the mad Wheelman in his rickety busted down old blue van of dent and rust jabbered up to my driveway, his foul-mouthed pal Gregor riding shotgun who said my name as I sat in back and I said his and we were off cackling about suburban corners and out out towards a McDonalds for coffee.
We arrived in the parking lot of gloom and doom-skied afternoon, the wheelman hunkering out first to get a scooter for Gregor, and did so, got him set and we rolled in together and ordered and sat down to drink our hot cups of coffee in the lighted inside bustle and shuffle of blue trays, yellow sandwich wrappers and ‘I can help whose next please’, you know it. And so began a game of backandforth between the tyrant Gregor and the Wheelman, one upping each other with play venom banter and ramblings that struck fear into wrinkled eyes all over the place, say an old bald guy in pressed corduroy jacket and khakis, green eyes heavily spectacled peeking over his newspaper wondering what’s what. The whole place beginning to stare, in fact, and without a care and having more kicks than anybody ol’ Gregor guzzling coffees with ten sweeteners and maniacal of eye, really letting loose like with the top down on sum sunset stretch in the desert.
Loose ends having gotten tied, and Gregor up one on the scoreboard with the Wheelman, we get set again, into the van, the scooter returned and roar clattering around bends, two wheels coming off the pavement at times, and on to the next and the next, Gregor making obscene jokes and planning lap dances for the gang of us on the Wheelman’s dime. The Wheelman just an mouth open revealing teeth rows and those laughing eyes pressing into the gas as the trip ripped forward.
To the next McDonald’s, onward, the white lines jumping past that familiar careless window and the gloomy sky shuddering at the jagged lines of light rippling up and down the cloud canvas, and we, in that heavy handed van strong-arming it and beating past yellow lights and turning heads and we’d arrived at the next stop suddenly.
On his walker now, Gregor denying the sloped curve and opting to hop the perpendicular one, which he did, and called out to us he needed to piss! and so made his way to the bathroom, passing by a widescreen T.V. playing The Elephant Man, which seemed a strange film to be playing in an easy café like that but that’s the truth.
The Wheelman and I paired with frantic eyes in line to order more coffee and a Coke for Gregor tapping our restless road ravaged toes and then Gregor, having pissed, making his way to sit down at a table by the window beside a couple, 80 years old each, and the coffee lidded and Coke filled and brought to the table we sat and made chat with the pair.
It trickled out the Wheelman and I were poets, the Wheelman in fact a fine poet and tireless madman putting forums for readings together in the city at a real pleasant Greek dig other side of town, and the tender bag-eyed couple taking interest in that, she an oil painter and he an engineer with an ear for words, and so we made chat, and the old Engineer shared a story about a preacher they knew who used to smoke out front the chapel between masses, used to every day say ‘how are yah’ to an old lady with walker out front the church there, and her always responding ‘bugger off’, ritually, just like that with no prelude, and they laughed brightly at that and we too.
Gregor then jumping in insisting his kingliness, his king’s horses back home waiting for him, and we I think ‘prolly all knew the subtle truth in that, you know, something Gibran saying the most massive characters are seared with scars, and he Gregor ridden with them but beautiful sure worthy of a crown but just wearing an old blue and white baseball
And the chat being made the elders moved off to beyond the door, I guess, into the bright day, and Gregor then demanding a story, and to deny a king a tale being treason I acquiesce with just so happens a Kerouac book on hand to read, and did, about two pages finally easing off it, and then nothing, and the King asking for more and so to the end of the chapter me spinning best I could those mad rhythms of bright open sky and beach bumming with fire roaring and spic clad in hot meat cooking for dinner, eventually the King blurting out that the Wheelman, who’d been sitting back grinning contentedly like a just fed cat, had farted, and so the reading ended there and just fine- he’d had his fill, I guess.
So a couple stagnant looks thrown over our shoulders, the King shuffles off to make royal pudding in the bathroom (haha), and the Wheelman gets the door open for him.
Me, I move off to the sidewalk to smoke, sit and think a bit at all that’d transpired- the old man peeping over papers, the busted road and the lap dances, the Elephant Man and the announcement of Royalty and the reading, and I nestled back into the book a bit smoking there in the fternoon air, the sun way out now bastardizing the dark grey tarp over the trees, and eventually the King set and the Wheelman ready to go, we went back out to the street to count the jumping white lines of the road.
© Kevin Heslop http://thechainsmokingpoet.wordpress.com/