Thursday, August 25, 2005

Taking a break from the Poetic Community posts to add something a little less esoteric, although, this is also related...

It's unfortunate that general internet users in China cannot view my blog (due to the restrictions here on domains that host blogs) unless they know the proxy circumventions. It's not only that my blog is so wonderfully entertaining, but just that I simply live in China. I am located here in the capital city, Beijing. I work and write and wander around here and I would like to be able to share those things more easily with folks who are doing the same things, especially as I continue to engage with the locals. This blog is really my electronic calling card and it's frustrating when I can't share it easily with the people I encounter every day.

The open mic at The Bookworm came off quite well last night. As has been happening, the crowd has been completely different each night, which is great. There have been about 15-20 folks in the audience (not including the people who are usually dining in the restaurant), with about one-third of those participating. I hope to start seeing some return visits from those folks, but we'll see. I'm new to this activity, as far as hosting it goes, so it's difficult to really have any expectations.

The audience always seems to contain an eclectic set of folks from diverse backgrounds (The Bookworm, being centered in the middle of the Embassy District doesn't hurt), and we had our first readings in a language other than English yesterday. Jorge, a very animated reader from Colombia, read a poem in Spanish, Federico, from Italy, read poems in both English and French, and Amy J. read a poem in Chinese. Those of us watching, couldn't have been more enrapt, even though none of us could understand all of the works presented. It was just great to listen and share those things with each other.

The Bookworm is a beautiful location and I targeted the shop for its ambiance as well as for its clientele. It's a library attached to a restaurant, and we do our thing in the library section in front of the book-lined walls. At the end of the event yesterday, one gentleman, Josh, as he was mentioning his enjoyment of the event suggested that I should get a book and start reading. "These people came to see this, man!" I said, "I think you're getting the idea, now." I have found a place where it would be difficult for people to avoid participating, even if they didn't bring their own poems. There are simply too many great books from which to choose and I'm hoping people will, eventually, do just that. Pick up their favorite books and jump into the mix with us.

5 comments:

Bruce Hodder said...

Hey Bob,
Just stumbled on your blog while hopping around in cyberspace.Nice insight into Chinese life for those of us who've never been there (and I probably never will given all the letters I've written to them about Tibet).Anyway,good reading! Hope you're still spewing out the fine poems.
Bruce.

Bob said...

Wonderful message, Bruce! Thanks for the fantastic words and thanks for adding something here, which adds another dimension to this thing. Comments are few and treasured, and I really appreciate your sending this. Please, feel free to visit again when you have a few moments to burn... Are you, by the by, the same Bruce Hodder publishing Suffolk Punch?

Anonymous said...

Bob,
I am indeed.True fame!I've put a link in to your site on SP to get a few more people coming your way.
I had to remove the comments section from my site because an ex-girlfriend started abusing me through it using a number of different screen names.Hope to put it back once I'm sure she's wriggled off to some other corner of the net.
Bruce.

Bruce Hodder said...

Oops, I forgot to register my name for the last entry. Come and visit the site anyway, Bob.
Bruce.

Bob said...

Great, Bruce. Thanks for adding the link. I'll be sure to get your site in my rotation.