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Wednesday Night Poetry Features Dolly Parton Anthology

Conversations with Dolly Parton at 3 a.m.

The 1,772nd Wednesday Night Poetry will be held at 6:30 p.m. today in Kollective Coffee and Tea, 110 Central Ave.

This week's featured poets are the editors and contributors of the upcoming Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology. This 54-poem anthology will be released on Parton's 75th birthday, Jan. 19.

The following is a poem from the anthology by Makayla Gay:

Conversations with Dolly Parton at 3 a.m. by Makayla Gay

Sweetheart, she says, her voice like the opening strum on an autoharp, Once you let anyone steal your sunshine You are your own rainy day. She holds my head like Madonna and kisses my bangs. She reminds me how she birthed entire patch-worked mountains from her hips. She’s Gaia, spangled in rhinestones, hairspray and long, almond nails. She gets called trash but trills like you wouldn’t believe. Our holy mother, of looking like a trick and letting all sorts of sinners seek shelter somewhere. You got mountains inside you, Sticks and rock and ramble. She holds my face and laughs like honey on biscuits. It’s hard enough being a woman, Especially if you like making a show of it. She adjusts the cups of her brassier and tectonics crash. Sometimes, You gotta let things go simply because they are heavy. She smudges the coal dust around her eyes as two coats of mascara. A swallow won’t sing unless prompted. If you can’t stand to give all your love to one, she says, knowing full well what it means to have all your love fracked away. Don’t shy from loving everyone. She tells me another reason to live, might as well be a new coat of nail lacquer.

WNP was established Feb. 1, 1989, by the late Bud Kenny, and has never missed a Wednesday meeting. It claims the title of "the longest-running weekly consecutive open mic series in the country."

Kai Coggin is the current host of the series.

WNP is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.

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