Earlier this fall, Lee Mallory announced that he's retired his longtime Orange County poetry readings at the Gypsy Den and Alta Coffee. Needless to say, that announcement came as a shock to all of us who can't imagine the local poetry scene without Lee. In the coming weeks, we'll have to find a way to send him off in style — but in the meantime, I wrote this column for the Huntington Beach Independent (and, most likely, its sister papers in Times Community News) about some of my favorite memories of Lee.
Here's the beginning of the story — you can also read the whole article here or get a hard copy in this week's Independent, currently on the newsracks.
The journalist in me has tried to write a lede for this column, and the poet has fought him tooth and nail. Just how should I begin a piece about the closing of Lee Mallory's Orange County poetry readings? With wordplay? A personal anecdote? Should I even aim for prose, or, in the spirit of Lee, should I dispense with capitals and syntax and let the words flow as they will?
Yes, I think that's the way to go. And rather than shoot for a feeble imitation, I'll let Lee write the start of this column himself. He's earned it:
I see eons / of geologic time / tight band of / strata & sand, / above, I think of Indians / Gabrielanos, Juanenos / gathering, hunting / hauling kids, / while SUV's whir below / now they rest / old bones / deep in willow roots & time / cradled gently / back to sand
October 13, 2012 : Posted by Michael Miller