Feelin’ Asheville

It’s been a long time since I did an Asheville open-mic circuit on a Thursday night.

The Open Mic at Dripolator offered quite a full evening. Kapila hosts the event. The Drip sure pulls a crowd. Parking was an issue–I had to park two blocks away. Kapila read some of his work around 9 p.m. In one, he laments that this city is now called Ashevegas when Ashevillage is he would dream she be called.

I hung out for awhile and listened to several good singer/songwriters and poets. But I left with an annoying thought–I’m not feeling Asheville. It’s an expression I lifted from another local writer. He uses the expression when a line of prose or poetry works: “Yeah, man, I’m feelin’ it now.” I suspect the expression has jazz or blues roots.

The Courtyard Gallery Open Mic offered a sparse gathering, but I arrived after 10 p.m. So there may have been a larger crowd earlier. Jarrett Leone graciously invited me to read a couple poems I found in my notebook. The same notebook I haven’t been able open since the writers residency back in July. I read a couple blues poems because it seemed to be the only sketches I was feelin’. My voice strained to pull the words off the page and send it to the audience. Jim, a regular at the Courtyard and previously Beanstreets, greeted me warmly and told me he was thinking about me the other night when he was reading through my old chapbook, Late Night Writing. Before I left the Courtyard, Jarrett gave me a big hug and we shared a few words.

I began to feel Asheville again, but it was awkward–like kissing an ex-lover. A lover that has moved onto to someone else, and the space between us is more than physical. It is an annoying thought that troubles me tonight. I’m not feelin’ Asheville. And I don’t know why.

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