Once again, Jan commissioned a Woman-Stirred Sonnet to open her reading. This time, the sonnet is a collage of words from the Word Beat website, including words from poems by David Gollub (“The Same Song” and “Absence of a Large Lerner”), Debra Grace Khattab (“Tying Down Rita's Loose Ends”), and Jan Steckel (“The Sea That Sometimes Frightened Us"). David, Debra, and Debra's son, Jeremy Morris Siegel, are the poet-hosts of Word Beat.
To understand this collage-sonnet, you might have to read the poems on the Word Beat website. Or, you could hear the poets themselves at the Word Beat open mic (free! with two featured poets!) every Thursday night at 7pm, in Berkeley, on Telegraph near Dwight, at the famous Mediterraneum Caffe (aka the Med).
The sea that sometimes frightens us, the beat
of words, where rhyme and rhythm intertwine,
and how he pushed it back and made a seat
in space and time to rest, expand, recline.
We sing together steady at the Med.
She felt a nightmare like a winding stair.
She flung herself from room to room. She read
the poem, hung the pictures, moved the chair.
And dreaming for a while I was alive,
like pearls on rope, I built the rooms for you.
I miss you. Will you help me to survive?
And stumble through the narrow gates, and do
a clammy foggy fishy sunlit dance?
By Telegraph and Dwight, you’ll have a chance.
© 2005 Mary Meriam