Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Bagel Bards, a literary group founded by Doug Holder and Harris Gardner in 2004 is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. It meets every Saturday morning at the Au Bon Pain in Davis Square.  Here is the introduction to our 9th Bagel Bard anthology due out in June 2014.

~Photo by Bridget Galway
— Picture by Bridget Galway
The Bagel Bards.

The scene.
7:45 a.m.
Au Bon Pain.
Davis Square.
The lone figure
of Dennis Daly,
at a table
seemingly praying
over a poetry book.

8 a.m.
Doug Holder
shoulder bag
flush with The Somerville Times
and books
begging for a review
an audience,
a pat
on their
entitled spines.

8:30 a.m.
Michael Todd Steffen
wanders in
deep in thought
propped on
the meaning
of meaning
talks of his
French translations
and the day job
his endless pitches
for funds
his hands
tensed on the phone
his mouth
to some distant

9 a.m.
Steve Glines
resplendent bald head
Hemmingway white beard
laughing like
a jovial
mayor of the town.
A newly published
edition of a man,
more news
from his daughter
in South Korea.

9:15 a.m.
Irene Koronas
rides in
on the morning breeze
a Greek gypsy
carrying handcrafted books,
a well-earned
mane of
“don’t fuck with me”
white hair.

Gloria Mindock
A savior of Eastern European Poets
a girlish
high-pitched laugh
outrage at “a-holes”
and the atrocities
that we inflict
on each other.

This is how Saturday morning breaks for the Bagel Bards. By 10 AM there is a cacophony. 90-something Joe Cohen, on his wheelchair, bites into his cheese danish, drinks his black coffee, and shows us his latest photographs. Krikor arrives, tall and regal, looking for all the world like a refugee from a Russian novel. And Harris Gardner, a shock of white hair, an Einstein with a bag of books from Salvation Army bins–offers all of us a share of his pastry. And so it goes with Luke and Zvi and Lawrence and Paul–and all the others. We are regulars. We are kibitzers-old, middle-aged, rarely young. Stumblebums, friends, writers , poets. We cross our stage-give our soliloquies, our Sermon on the Mount, the stunningly bad jokes, the salient points. Then…we call it a day… and drift away….

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