Poetry Open Mic Nights


by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on September 29, 2017

attic boxes




They are dusty, endless.


Cranky and tired, I implore my husband to stop

handing down boxes from Mama’s attic,

to stop insisting we clear it all out today,

to stop, to please, for the love of all that’s holy, just



He knows me; he loves me; he can see I’m over this

incessant sorting, these perpetual decisions;

to keep, toss, sell, or deliver to people she loved

the items she tenderly wrapped and kept and labeled; things

they almost invariably decline, with sad, ungrateful smiles.


He stacks the boxes in the garage and tiptoes out,

leaving me, in silent fury,

to fume as sole survivor, the responsible one

who always, always has to handle

things no one else will handle.


Interminable, these rubber-band-bound bundles of bills

paid decades ago, these monotonous bank statements sadly lacking in zeroes, this

amaranthine documentation of fourscore years of thrift store accumulation and then

I open a box and there they lie,

gone, but not forgotten, for forty years.


I had forgotten the stripes; I knew they were sky blue

and I’d remembered the elegant piping.

And the blood; I remember the blood, so much blood,

blood that, when washed, resembled nothing worse than a splash of spilled coffee.

A whole pot of spilled coffee.


I lift Daddy’s pajamas from the box.

They smell of attic-dust and time, nothing more.

As she had done, so long ago, I hug them to my chest,

wrap their ghostly arms around myself, and rock, keening in silence.

Holding her. Holding him.




1 comment

Peter Meinke


Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke will headline an international roster of poetry workshops on Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16 in Orlando.

In addition to Meinke’s workshop, the conference will feature presentations on the poetry of France and Scotland. Live bag pipe music will open some sessions. The spring fling provides many opportunities for FSPA members and guests to read their poems at open mike sessions, and the chance to sell their books in the Poetry book store. Registration for both days is a low $25. Everyone that pays that price is eligible to attend the Orlando Poetry Slam team finals on Saturday night, April 16.

The spring fling takes place at the Comfort Suites, 2416 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL, 32804, in the trendy Ivanhoe section of the city. Registration forms for the spring fling and hotel registration information is available at www.floridastatepoetsassociation.org.

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Wordier Than Thou

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on July 21, 2015

Wordier Than Thou

This unique open mic focuses on storytelling and fiction — no poetry or music. So come share your finest prose, or if you’re just in the mood for listening, catch some tales from our area’s wordsmiths.

Readings will begin around 7 p.m. Sign-up begins at 6:30 p.m.

A featured reader will kick off the night, followed by open mic slots. Open mic readers get 10 minutes and will be timed. We encourage all readers to stay to the end and support everyone who signs up to share their work.

This month’s featured readers are Stacy Barton and Brad Kuhn.

Where: Stardust Video & Coffee
1842 East Winter Park Rd, Orlando, Florida
Wednesday, July 22, from 7pm to 9pmCost: free, with a 5$ suggested donation at the door.

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Tuesday Nights with Diverse Word

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on June 2, 2015


From 8pm-10pm Tuesday, June 2, Shawn Welcome is hosting Diverse Word, at Dandelion Communitea (618 North Thornton Avenue, Orlando). The cost-free night will include a spoken word poetry open mic for all interested. This open mic repeats every Tuesday at the same time and place.

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