Spring Reading at Beyond Baroque

On April 7, 2013, Fred Chandler read at Beyond Baroque’s spring reading. New to this site is a recording of three poems read at the historic Venice, California venue: “Renew,” “Sanctioned,” and “The Lure.”

“Renew” is a snapshot of both the spring season as well as a metaphor for rebirth and new beginnings. The poem succinctly captures the small and often unseen mechanisms of life that are easily forgotten in our quotidian experiences. Seeds and grains of sand mirror one another in describing the foundations of nature, both miniscule and buried in the earth, beneath and oblivious to the changing landscapes of human existence. This is creation. This is life and birth and death, and everything in between.

As much as “Renew” is about birth, “The Lure” is about death. These two poems stand facing one another, two experiences essential to every living being. A grey bird walks on the shore, leaving footprints in the wet sand. The tide comes in and washes the footprints clean, and the bird in turn flies off into the horizon, leaving the narrator of the poem reflecting, “That was when I lost sight of everything.” In describing life at its other end, there is the inevitable erasure of it, which may seem to belie the self-important narcissism of individuals in society. However, this is just the nature of waves, of the sea’s relentless beating, a heartbeat that continues even as we do not.

The last poem, “Sanctioned,” slices open the heart to reveal the inner monologue of love. Two hands clasp in prayer for the narrator’s beloved at the beginning of the poem, and later, the hands hold “something so gentle as a bird.” The bird is released and thus freedom is found in the conjoined union of two souls. Sanction is granted, as easily and naturally as letting go.

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4 Responses to “Spring Reading at Beyond Baroque”
  1. Brent Mosley says:

    I listened to “The Lure” several times and found it to be both dark and exciting at the same time. Dark because all evidence of the bird walking on the sand is washed away, kind of like life can become eventually. Exciting because the bird flies off into the darkness and the unknown, which none of us can see but we still go there anyway.


  2. alex halpern says:

    Hi Fred,

    This was great. Really inspiriting and rejuvenating.

    see you soon.



  3. Development says:

    Original artwork by Patrica Ariel – “Primavera”



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  1. […] You can listen to an audio recording of “The Lure” from a recent reading at Beyond Baroque here. […]

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