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
Garrison Keillor comes to The Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD for an Evening of poetry, Sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. Tickets $60
Garrison Keillor and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet come to The Wayne Theatre for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 7:00PM
High Point, NC
Garrison Keillor and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet come to the High Point Theatre for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 7:30 PM
Pandemic Poetry Meeting 5: Steve Loomis & Tina Kelley
Join Garrison in conversation withSteve Loomis and Tina Kelley, two winners of the Pandemic Poetry contest. (Note: internet audio in this video is a bit glitchy)
Watch the video here:
Follow along with Steve Loomis’s poem “Visitors”
The Eagle was minutes from touching down on the
surface of the moon. Millennia of gazing wistfully at
that silver orb were about to be over. An American
spacecraft was actually landing there! I was sprawled
on a stiff, scratchy old couch in the sunlit living room of
my grandparents’ house on Locust Street. Seconds
ticked away as breathless millions around the globe
were riveted to their flickering black and white TV’s.
My grandparents, however, were out in the kitchen. It
wasn’t that they didn’t know what was going on. They
were blithely chatting away about nothing with another
couple who had come visiting. Mom and Pop had been
born when Grover Cleveland was in his second
administration. Cars had yet to replace horses on the
dirt roads of the nation. But now? To excuse yourself
or invite your company to witness… um… Man Landing
on the Surface of the Moon? Nope, not interested. I
glanced back at the screen. Gray dust was rising as
Armstrong and Aldrin became the most famous persons
who ever lived. The Eagle had reached the surface. I
was filled with awe and wonder. My grandparents
continued to discuss fishing gear and cookie recipes.
Follow along with Tina Kelley’s poem “’I’m Having the Death I’d Always Hoped For’”
“I’m Having the Death I’d Always Hoped For”
in gratitude for Gus Lindquist, 86, an artist in town
His voice from intensive care
sounded chipper, very much his:
“Hey! I’m pulling the plug today.”
I inhaled, asked if he wanted a visit.
I had to get my son from school first.
Gus would try to last that long.
At the hospital, I found him
comfortable, curious, fascinated.
Unafraid of earplug silence, darkness,
focused on creativity, diversity, love.
He wanted the young doctor’s company,
told her, after a few calls and emails
on his to-do list, to please stop dialysis.
It would take a day.
He wouldn’t suffer.
I stayed an hour,
kissed Gus goodbye.
The cheek was cold.
Walking down the hall
I didn’t crumble. Off
to my son’s soccer game,
somehow. By next morning
his heart slowed to done.
I couldn’t say rest in peace.
In an ancient ritual he knew,
one shines light on the other’s
head, heart, and hands. Rest in light.
Life in the Ultra-Slow Lane
by Steve Loomis
Life in the ultra-slow lane presents a variety of
intriguing options. Grow a full beard. Shave your skull.
Wear the same clothes 9 days in a row. By this time
you’re beginning to look like an inmate in a French
overseas penal colony. You perceive your house to be
Devil’s Island with better food.
You develop an intense yearning to mow your yard. 47
degrees and raining? Fine. Hockey is no longer on TV!
You are seized by shirt-rippling palpitations and a
strange, trickling sweat.
You dial in a three-hour Metropolitan Opera production.
You marvel as the incomparable Christine Goerke
blow torches her way through treacherously difficult
arias with enough air support to be heard in Boston.
You consider sending fan mail.
You opt for a risky trip to mail a letter and the seven
block journey through empty streets seems like a
vacation in Rio.
You hunker in your car outside Wal-Mart to get 40% of
what you ordered… roughly an hour late. You kill time
writing the alphabet over and over on a tiny yellow
Post-it note. Your cursive has the precision design of a
Faberge egg. Then you receive a precious shipment of
two bottles of paint, a bag of generic taco chips, and a
half dozen apples grown last year in South America.
You scuttle back to the house and the garage door
slams behind you. The living room décor dissolves in a
blur and you could swear you’re in an all-concrete
basement with a rusted washing machine for a
companion. But wait… that’s your wife glowering at you
and muttering something about cleaning the shower
Thinking creatively, you opt to sit cross-legged on the
rug gazing out the window 45 minutes before the
mailman pulls up. Two bills, a circular, coupons from
Sonic, and a fold-out color photo of a politician the size
of a circus poster.
It occurs to you that you don’t know what day it
is… but pondering the question you narrow it down to
somewhere between Monday and Thursday. The third
nap of the day seems a legitimate option.
You notice a bird on a branch just outside the window.
He’s been getting pelted by rain and shivering in the
snow for four months while you’ve been toasty inside.
Now he gets his revenge. He flies away.
National Observance Day
by Tina Kelley
The smell of freshly cut grass
is a plant distress call. A man
looks so vulnerable, late at night,
glasses just removed, so spent.
The sign in the band room read:
“If I can recognize what you’re playing,
you’re not practicing right.” Damn.
Grind the impossible measure,
over and over, hearse, re-hearse,
until a groove forms. This is true
of every last skill, including wiving,
especially parenting, plus sour dough.
Trudging through the top floor
of this night, a woman notices
she’s never been this old before,
she’ll never be this young again.
There are species dying out
before zoologists identify them.
I wonder which sick neighbors
next month’s blooms will go to?
Was there ever a hurricane
that never hit land, just grew
wilder and faster and spun out
between Iceland and Greenland?
In the end, eons pass so quickly
that if one fast-forwards the sound,
one hears a rhythm section full of full
filing cabinets from all across town
falling into basements, because roofs
leaked, and houses fell slowly apart.