The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Tour Diary – August 8th – CoHo in Pocatello, ID

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Mr. Bill and Spongebob Square Pants welcomed Russ and I to CoHo in Pocatello, Idaho. This was a stop that Russ had been talking about for a while, so I knew we were in for a treat. Coho was exactly the right venue for what the two of us are doing on this tour – playing intimate songs to an intimate crowd. There were a good 50 people through the doors tonight, and every one of them was there to listen to us, and take in the music. They were silent when we played, clapped when we were done, bantered with us, requested songs that they knew from our catalogues, and made it feel like we were playing in our living rooms. This was exactly what we needed on the second night of the tour.

I think I told more stories about my songs than I have in a while. I’m used to playing storytellers type shows, and feeding off of the crowd, so this was perfect for me. I even reached back into my catalogue to play “Needle and Thread,” which I hadn’t touched in more than two years. It wasn’t on my set list, but for some reason it just felt right, and I somehow remembered the words like it had never left my rotation. The last time I played this song was at a benefit for a local hospital. Unbeknownst to me, I was playing for a couple of heart transplant patients. Well, unfortunately, I didn’t catch it in time, and there are a few lines in the song that really don’t work to their advantage – “sew your heart back together with the words I say,” and “just keep quiet, and go to the light” probably weren’t the things they wanted to hear. I remember my mom being at the show, and shaking her head “no no no no no” for me to stop, but I didn’t understand why. Well, when I finally realized the patients I was playing for, I felt like a complete asshole. I hadn’t played the song since then, but tonight it just felt like the right time to bring it back.

I officially sold out of the Frame by Frame CD tonight, but I have download cards for the rest of the tour. It’s nice to know that all of the Frame by Frame discs are in good hands, and welcoming ears. The download cards are at least a bit cheaper, and we’re moving into more cities, where internet access is more readily available. I still have about 30 Dregs’ CDs to get through. So hopefully I sell out of those as well. I don’t want to bring those back with me.

Tomorrow we make the trek to Denver. We the day off, and a show on Saturday at The Walnut Room. I hope to see some of you out there!

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

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