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28th Annual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival

I’m going to be a selected reader at the first night of the 28th Annual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival!

Wednesday November 9, 7pm
Venue: San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
1010 Broad St. SLO
Selected Reader: Benjamin Daniel Lawless
Featured Readers: Past Poet Laureate Glenna Luschei & Clayton Eshleman
Tickets at the door: $7 general & $5 student/senior

For more information, visit the event’s homepage.

2011 SLO Plein Air Festival

This last week, I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival as an invited featured poet. I spent a couple of hours out in the foothills off of Orcutt Road with Dotty Hawthorne, she painting and I writing. Last night was the poetry reading, and I’d like to share with you the piece I presented. Enjoy!

Art with a horse

While trying to write a poem for the Plein Air Festival,
I kept getting distracted by a horse on the other side of a fence.
This horse seemed normal enough,
eating grass,
nudging her water trough.
Everything was absolutely ordinary about her,
save for the fact that this regular horse
was wearing a blindfold.

I walked over to the fence.
“Excuse me.” I tried to get the horse’s attention.
“Mmmm?” she replied, not looking up.
“I’m really sorry to bother you, but I was wondering
why are you wearing a blindfold?”

“A blindfold?” The horse asked me back. “Isn’t it obvious?”
“Please, humor me.”
“I wear a blindfold,” she explained,
“because I am the world’s finest art critic.”

“Well, maybe I shouldn’t tell you this,
but there is an artist painting right over there,
not twenty feet from you.”
“Of course there is,” replied the horse.
“I’m the most superior equine around.
Not only do I know fine art,
I am fine art.
Make sure she gets the right color for my tail, would you?
Just look at my tail!”

“Sorry, but it looks like
she’s really focusing on a eucalyptus tree
down the road.”

“Oh? I’ve never seen it.”

“Of course you haven’t.
You have a blindfold on,” I reminded her.
“How can you be such a great art critic
with that thing over your eyes, anyway?”

“Well, the less I see,
the less impressed I am,
and a good critic is seldom impressed.”

I said my goodbyes as quickly as I could,
and decided to never again
talk art with a horse.