photo by Marlena Aakjar
Last Saturday at Halyards we unlatched that Cardboard Suitcase.
A sweet affair, standing room only, and 8 readers on point. The spectrum of material -from memoir, poetry, fiction to Young Adult fiction- led through life’s trajectory: from birth to demise, with graduation, and stopover in the Midwest, NYC, and Alpine town, the skill of throwing a ball and not dropping a ball, motherhood, fatherhood, friendship, loss…and gumption.
Halyards is the next best thing to a campfire; It pulls people together, has a glow and warmth, and listening comes easy. Halyards is what we do when we don’t do all the things we usually must do, when we are done doing and want to try for some being, it’s where we come to muse about our place in the world, laugh about our place in the world, weep a little (also about our place in the world) and then laugh again, because, well, at least we’re not alone within the larger absurdity…
But what makes Halyards better than a campfire is that they sell beer, chips, and sandwiches, that a real bathroom is nearby, that it’s in Brooklyn, and, most of all, that the long wooden table at the center keeps us all level. Pain Quotidien, table-wise, has nothing on Halyards.
Although, I confess, I couldn’t tell you what goes on at that other end of that long table during most of the reading. I couldn’t tell you. We readers stand around the pooltable in the side-room, hunched over our pages, making last-second edits. We sip our Seltzers and mumble things like “red leather, yellow leather, good blood, bad blood…” (try saying it fast) because we have to keep our tongues limber, we don’t want to fall over our words at the mic when it’s our turn. We listen to our colleagues, all naked in their words, and we root for them, “Goddammit that’s a good phrase, a beautiful thought…”
Around the pooltable it feels like a dug-out must feel. Never been in one, but still I am pretty sure. Halyards-reading is a teamsport. Or kind of a Verbal Sochi without medal-count and losers.
Thank you for spending last Saturday with us!
In other news: We will have half a bookstand at the Brooklyn Bookfair. Go ahead and leave some room in your calendar to visit us there on September 21st, 2014.