An Evening in Grebovka

Just got back from a poetry reading. As poetry readings go, it was maybe a bit better than average. Maybe 25 or so people (I didn’t count, and it fluctuated a bit) About 10 or 12 people read. The usual mix of good, bad, and unintelligible. There was the poem in Turkish followed by the English translation, about an old man who planted an olive tree because life weighs more than death. I liked that. The best poem of the night, though, I thought was “When the Cleaning Ladies Take Over.” Spoiler alert: it ain’t all pretty. There was one guy who gave a bit of a speech about how great he thought it all was, people coming together and communicating and such. He kind of kept interrupting but he was so positive and enthusiastic that he was an enjoyable part of the evening.

But the best thing about it was the location. We were in the grotto in Grebovka Park. It’s a lovely space, there’s a fountain with a statue in the middle and the water pours down it and there are arches all around the terrace leading to rooms without front walls, and that’s where the stage was. To the sides, there were stairs going up to the balcony above, and above that jagged towers of rock. All very ancient Greek.
Behind us the woods. Above us the moon.

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