M called me at 9:30.

I arrived just after one.
M had left a note for the bosses:

M says
I came for my 9-12 shift, but I can’t get in. I walked to the ICA, and that wasn’t open either. I am v cold and hungover so I’m going home.

I tell her her note is poetry.
Jen mounts it on the refrigerator with a magnetic poetry “brother.”
We are in the kitchen, discussing issues of poetry with poets.
Is there any more food? We’re out. How can we be out? We had so much!
A bag of turkey is handed to someone. Crisis solved.

Poets are all over the place,
there’s less black today,
but there’s still no doubt that these are poets.
I eavesdrop while making Al’s special “why bother” coffee.

These poets have an appetite,
and they want to know where the coffee is. (Percolating.)

Jen leaves a list on the counter:

- Clean up after lunch
- Check with Tandoor about delivery
- Dinner setup -- chill white wine (in fridge)

red wine (lots) on table by water and soda
plastic wine cups also, and wine opener
dinner plates on DR table, napkins too
plastic forks knives spoons
serving utensils for Indian food
(the big plastic spoons etc.)
replenish ice

- 5 pm the Indian food BETTER BE HERE – back door- order was confirmed by M
- Fresh grocer run for:
        some more cheese for reception after reading
- Cocktail party prep – slice up limes!

I head to 109 to play with puppies and
construct a poem – or rather, a red wheelbarrow.

Windows Media Player is open on the computer,
1:23 or so into Paranoid Android, or
at about the time I type “Thirty-five poets,”
the smoke alarm goes off.
I help Jen with her dogs and head outside,
standing amongst poets becoming conspiracy theorists;
Jessica Lowenthal is convinced she accidentally triggered the alarm.
The firemen come, suited-up, with axes,
and determine that someone was smoking in the bathroom.
Crisis averted.

4:59 and time for me to go home,
but where the hell is the Indian food?
The poets are hungry, and they’re drinking
on empty stomachs.

5:12. Still no Indian food

5:37, the Indian food arrives.
It’s surprisingly not-vegetarian.
Rice, samosas, tandoor chicken,
lamb masala,
And several handles of medium-priced booze.

At six, I go home, change, check my e-mail,
and head to the ICA.
Thirty-five poets.
Herman Beavers reads first.

The poets were told three minutes each, but I
doubt very many went under six.
I kept a list of the readers.
I counted twenty-eight.

10:15. I was due back at the Writers House.
I raced back (in boots!).
By the time I walked in to the House,
everything was ready.
A fire blazed in the hearth,
candles were everywhere.

The early arrivants do not wait to open the alcohol.
The moment the they come in, they mix themselves drinks.

Leftover Indian food is reheated,
The room fills, the food is eaten,
the drinks consumed;
the poets are getting drunk.
And loud.

At midnight, when I leave,
the party continues

Jill Ivey