Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Lawrence Kessenich


Out of the Blue

At the time, I didn't know Jack,
except by reputation--host to
Beat poets, godfather of Boston's
poetry masses. Led into
the gallery by his patient wife, he
took the place of honor beside
the podium, facing us. Ravaged
by stroke, his once-mobile face was
expressionless, though empathetic
eyes belied that immobility.

When I, the featured poet, walked
to the front, still reeling from the
political flamethrower poet
who'd preceded me, Jack's eyes smiled
encouragement.The reading went well.
When I turned to leave the podium,
Jack looked me full in the face, eyes
dancing with pleasure, offered me
a trembling hand, a hand that had
shaken Ginsburg's and Ferlinghetti's.

Affirmation. That was his gift
to thousands of poets, over
four decands. A moment
you could believe that you,
too, might a Corso or
a Bly. A moment when
your voice was heard.