Rest at the South Coast Rep

hh 002 My daughter and I have always looked alike.

I am seeing a play called Rest tonight at the South Coast Rep.

“A retirement home in northern Idaho is shutting down. Only three patients remain—and one of them is lost. Gerald, 91 and suffering from dementia, has wandered off, leaving his wife Etta and her friend Tom. Remaining staff includes a new 20-year-old cook and two longtime employees, women suddenly faced with a crisis of their own. In the midst of a record-breaking blizzard, the search for Gerald takes an unexpected turn—as the others find themselves powerless in the face of an uncertain future. A tender and heartbreakingly funny new work by the playwright who has risen like a meteor on the theatrical scene—author of last season’s play The Whale.”

My friend Michael Roth did the music and he and I are working on an opera together called Ravi’s Dream. It’s always good to see him, like me, he travels a lot and is always working on multiple projects.!theatre/c17d0

We/Mark picked hundreds of oranges today off the tree and Mark is going to make it into habanero marmalade. I question whether a person really needs that much but he likes to give it away.

Tomorrow is the reading at Skylight Books. Some people rehearse their readings before they dive in. But I don’t like to. I like to arrive into the feeling of the reading and then plan what I’m going to read. If there is too much planning in advance that might ruin the mood.

But, since I am doing three readings this week—Skylight Books, Collected Works in New Mexico and then Elliot Bay in Seattle, I am pretty sure that I’ll have a set down. I always like it when poets read certain poems over and over. I like it when Eloise reads the Ohio poem that ends, “You are the world.” And her sestina about the dog show. I like Brendan’s poem where he goes to the map of the world and I like Doug reading the poem about Costco selling Black dolls with monkeys because the poem is so good and the way Doug performs it feels like entering some wild space. I like Eric Morago’s poem about his grandmother and Nicelle’s poem about Jesus and John Lennon. All of these poems I have heard more than once and I wait for them.

The worst things you can do at a poetry reading include:
1. Reading too long—that is the very worst. If you think it’s going to be twenty minutes and it’s thirty, that’s bad.
2. Being bored, restless or looking scared.
3. Losing your place and deciding up there about your poems at length.
None of these things is going to happen tomorrow.

Here is an odd thing about living in Los Angeles. Just now, I’m sitting here writing and Mark is in the kitchen making the tea and slicing oranges in the pear light of afternoon and we’re listening to music in Spanish and I hear a noise at the door. I know it’s the wind. Because no one ever comes to your door in Los Angeles unless they were invited in advance. You don’t get in your car and drive miles and miles unless you know the person is going to be expecting you so we hardly ever visit each other at all.

Published in: on March 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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