It’s Wednesday as I finish this post, and while I try to process my long weekend out of town and my return from work afterwards (a topic for a forthcoming post, I promise), let’s devote this post to the big weekend I had exactly one weekend previous — Saturday the 23rd of September, to be exact. As you can tell from this post’s title, I did indeed perform poetry as Allison once again. But was it my second performance or my third? Well, I guess some clarification is in order: The first time I performed in front of a mic was during a poetry event at Mother Fool’s back in early July. A few weeks after that, on the last Saturday night of July to be exact, I was actually back at Mother Fool’s, though not to read poetry. Instead, since it wasn’t exclusively a night of poetry, I did a little bit of freeform spoken word storytelling about how I first found that sack of women’s clothing.
Saturday the 23rd, however, was all about the poetry. And instead of Mother Fool’s, we did our thing at another coffee house in town. (I’ll get to the significance of the “we” later.) The business in question is Cargo Coffee, a locally- and family-owned coffee shop that has two locations here in Madison, one on the south side and the one we performed at on East Washington Avenue, a few blocks northeast of the State Capitol. Cargo Coffee’s East Wash location is part of a major redevelopment that’s been occurring on the avenue the past several years (well, it’s happening throughout Madison but it definitely applies to East Wash): Older, smaller, and generally decrepit buildings, ones that housed businesses ranging from repair shops to an automobile dealership, have been replaced by more modern buildings and shops (including restaurants, a swank hotel, and a supermarket) and condominiums and luxury apartments that cost a pretty penny. And the redevelopment isn’t done yet: A new music venue is under construction just kitty corner from Cargo Coffee; further up the avenue, a separate redevelopment is turning a long-empty and neglected plot of land into a mix of apartments, shops, and a UW Health clinic.