Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. A performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
March 4 in Kent, OH Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. A performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company: A PRAIRIE HOME HOLIDAY. Let’s come together for a Christmas sing-along, some Poetry, the News from Lake Wobegon and some holiday cheer with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard.
Dec 11 in Joliet, IL Keillor & Company: A PRAIRIE HOME HOLIDAY. Let’s come together for a Christmas sing-along, some Poetry, the News from Lake Wobegon and some holiday cheer with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard.
Dec 10 in Ottumwa Iowa Keillor & Company: A PRAIRIE HOME HOLIDAY. Let’s come together for a Christmas sing-along, some Poetry, the News from Lake Wobegon and some holiday cheer with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard.
Pandemic Poetry Meeting 4: Yvette Viets Flaten & Tito Titus
Join Garrison in conversation with Yvette Viets Flaten and Tito Titus, two winners of the Pandemic Poetry contest. (Note: internet audio in this video is a bit glitchy)
Watch the video here:
Follow along with Yvette Viets Flaten’s poem “Skies by Tiepolo”
Skies by Tiepolo
Maybe it was because he was
a foreigner too, cast upon Spain
by chance, fortune, an enticement
too good to pass up.
Maybe it was his name; how it
rolled from the tour guide’s tongue
onto mine: Ti-é-po-lo. Mixing
word-sounds like Tippler dancing
with Stipple, rounded out by a rolling O.
However it came about, Tiepolo
fell upon me from the ceilings
of Madrid’s Royal Palace like
a sheet of wet silk. His skies
dropped straight down, skies of
orange and pink, voluptuous skies
moving from mauve to salmon,
golden skies soaking up a blood
orangish red, corners muting to
a smoky blue, a blue almost
too perfect, fit only for throne
rooms and autumn.
I stood agape beneath his
canopies of color, dumb-snapped
by the silent, smoldering palette
the artist revealed to me alone,
it seemed. While the others traipsed
out behind the guide, Germans and Brits
and movie-camera-toting Americans, I
lingered silent and alone beneath those
panoplies of dazzle I never shook,
the benchmark to which I have pressed,
in judgment, every sunset sky
of the rest of my life.
Follow along with Tito Titus’s poem “Haunting Bolinas”
I visit Richard Brautigan’s house
in Bolinas, California on the windy
wet coast north of San Francisco.
I stay in the house at night
where Richard exploded his brains
with a twelve gauge shotgun
a woman comes by each night
stands in the dimly lit walkway
outside the glass entry door
looks at me in the front hall
her sad eyes asking me a question
I do not understand and I am
afraid to answer the door
because I know I do not belong
in Richard Brautigan’s house.
She opens the door with a key
lets herself in, stands in the amber
entry and tells me her name, Ianthe.
You do not belong in this house,
she tells me, because you do not
own a Remington pump action
and you don’t drink anymore and
you would never leave your daughters
the way my father left me.
Riding it out
by Yvette Viets Flaten
Caught in a sudden nasty squall on Puget Sound,
we had no choice but to ride it out, our 16 ft runabout
nearly swamping in every gray swell. Years later,
we hung on in a basement’s southwest corner as
winds whipped our Midwest town to shreds.
This time it’s going to be a harder trial, a much longer
trek, a slog against an enemy without sound or sign.
A blind and nervy war.
Yet–who hasn’t faced their own personal quarantine?
A bed-rest pregnancy, a chemo sequestration.
Months separated for work, or military mission.
Days to weeks to months apart, given to a larger thing,
self-imposed, self accepted, all for a greater goal.
We know how to meet this test of patience; with
patient trials, and calm resolve. This is no shrieking
summer storm but a long sober season that must wend
its darkest course. For us, it’s recouping time, mending
time for harness and traces, to right our wheels and
saddle up, to strap on spurs for the tough trail ahead.
The night John Prine died
by Tito Titus
Mid-pandemic, we walk nearly vacant streets,
she and I. It’s April 7th and the sun prepares
to take our big city blue sky to China.
A few long-shadowed men and women,
near here, over there, across the evening street,
move purposefully, gracefully, safely—
polite nervous ghosts in face masks,
remembered now in slow-motion—
dream-walkers avoiding dream-walkers,
artists performing an apocalyptic dance
never seen before, never danced before.
Sometime after our return, after the news
on Channel 5, but before Jeopardy,
John Prine dies, ventilator intubated,
in Nashville, Tennessee. Novel coronavirus
“complications” killed him, they say.
Pneumonia purchased his lungs like soggy fog,
too much for his surgery-weakened body,
his hip ripped open to replace a bone.
In this great quarantine of 2020,
a new surreal world surrounds us,
an unfamiliar reality upends our days.
We wear facemasks colored like Joseph’s robe,
carry hand-sanitizer and alcohol wipes,
and abhor touching anything not our own.
John Prine falls like a shooting star
on a Supermoon night.
We hold hands, stare at the floor,
she and I.