The Liminal Alternative Artspace in Roanoke, Va. hosts a monthly reading. It is geared toward writers of all sorts, though attracts a lot of poets and short storywriters. I’d never been to one of the Liminal readings, but the organizer, Cara Modisett, invited me to participate so I did.
The theme for the December 2011 reading was “downsizing.”
This shows my limited imagination: To me, spending my day in the business world, downsizing only meant one thing. Layoffs. A reduction in force. Job losses.
Conveniently, I had a piece that fit perfectly: “Q Downsized,” in which the letter Q is “let go” from the alphabet. Cara helped me find two students at Community High School to perform — Lilly Carr and Karl Kaiser.
To my amazement, everybody else at the reading that night had a very different take on “downsizing.” To them, downsizing meant . . . moving into smaller living spaces, downsizing lives, dreams, and so forth. There were some very powerful — and very sad — pieces read.
Then, at the end, came this piece, which was quite different indeed.
Fortunately, the audience howled with laughter.
The video for this is just now going up online, so that’s why it’s out of order. I had another reading in January at Liminal, “White Goes First” to match the Martin Luther King Jr. Day theme.