A guy named Thoreau drew inspiration from a pond; so did that painter, Monet. (Don’t I Google great?!) And if these guys could do it, then why can’t we… even if this pond is an old backyard swimming pool in an unassuming neighborhood in Covina? Hey, drop the “even if” and sub in “especially if”!
These days, it seems like there’s a price of admission for doing anything fun, and that people drag their heels to have the simplest get-togethers because nobody has time. That’s why you have to really admire the PondWater Society. They bring you the arts, and it’s free, it’s fun, and you’ll only get kicked out if you start a fight or something!
The PondWater Society is a gift to the arts community from Joanne and Ed Baines. On the first Saturday of every month, they host a salon featuring poetry, music, visual art, essayists, theater, dance, comedy… any artistic communication will do! Why? Just because they want to. These events are free, although a donation of a bottle of wine or a hunk of cheese is welcome. And a bottle of wine is what I brought last Saturday night as my contribution to this month’s event, The Poets in Distress Circus.
Coming to PondWater Estate is like dropping in at a friend’s house. No obvious signs of the event out front; you just wander in and find Ed there to welcome you and Joanne setting out simple snacks. Meanwhile, you loaf around like a carefree kid, mingling with other guests, the performers, and the Baines’ dogs.
Now, on to the event itself… The Poets in Distress have been around since the early 80s, and are known for their raucous readings featuring excessive drinking, drug binges and nude dancing (FUN!). Thirty years later, their event was much more cleaned up, but I guess something had to change if they were to survive this long. The poetry was still great and inspiring, though. Headed up by Brutus Chieftain, it featured some of the long-time members, Mr. P, Craig Rick and King Daddy, Doc MacAdams on didgeridoo, a guinea hen cawing on the roof, and a number of younger poets including standouts, Anthony Garcia and the charismatic Skippy. Oh! And what about the “circus”? Calliope music played, balloon animals were thrown, carrots were chopped in a guillotine, little paper pop snappers were thrown by the crowd, and the poets juggled on cue.
Check out the gallery for all the sights enjoyed that night.
Also visit PondWater’s website for more information and to see a schedule of upcoming events.