...In-between sets from poet Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

February 6, 2019

Old and New

The Nortown Theater, on Western Avenue, just south of Devon Avenue,
west side of the street
Gene Siskel and I both, but not together, watched the movies of our youth in this great movie theater. Stars in the blue night sky actually did twinkle above our heads. The walls were lined in jewel-toned frescoes. There were large spiral columns holding up the sky, at least as all we children thought, but the spiral columns encircling the audience seating were real.
There was a second story to the building, where a marble staircase led you to the marble ladies' restroom. Once inside, it was magical to an 11-year-old. I will never forget the metal machine affixed to the restroom wall at which you could purchase, for two quarters, ladies' private needs, bobby pins, soft thick wrapped kleenexes, and most fantastically, a rich, red miniature lipstick. Ah, Debbie and Geralyn and me, we were swept away. 

It was at the Nortown Theater we saw Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet over a dozen times, Buster and Billie, still a film dear to my heart on so many emotional levels, on top of which with that gorgeous Hoyt Axton theme song, oh! The Exorcist, once and once only. I believe it scared me so much I did sleep with the light on in my closet for a week. So many, many movies. You know the phrase--it holds truer here about theaters than almost anyplace: they really don't make them like they used to. I think I bought that lipstick once. I think also I was too timid to try it on.

Meanwhile, front and center, I've been teaching poetry workshops quite often and having a grand time. I have a student who has published a new chapbook with a fine press for which I have provided a blurb and the book is sublime. I'll write more on that on a future post. Gads of other students are sending their brand-new shopped poems out all over the place! I'm thrilled for them and their best cheerleader. Here's a photo of one of my classes at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe--these folks are great people, and very good poets.
Poetry Ms. Workshop Students
They've inspired me to light a fire, finally, under my own self. No less than eight poems for my next full collection are in progress as I write this blog post. I'm very happy that my muse has returned and unpacked his bags. Always a good sign.