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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Poetic moments at the Echo Park pool

Poet Steve Abee grew up in Santa Monica, but Echo Park and other nearby neighborhoods have served as the setting for many of his poems and books. The El Sereno resident, who also teaches at the magnet program at King Middle School, will read work from his most recent book, "Great Balls of Flowers," at Skylight Books in Los Feliz on Wednesday night. Here's an excerpt from one of the poems in the book set at the Echo Park indoor pool:

I’m at the Echo Park Indoor Swimming Pool,
thinking about sonnets, watching my daughter, Penelope, swim.
She’s learning how to do the free style.
She lifts her arm up out of the water. Then the other one. She lifts
her head out of the water to breathe. She stops and stands
and starts
again. It’s a lot to do.

There are a bunch of kids splashing in the pool all around her.
She swims around them.
A woman in blue swims in the deep part of the pool.
She comes to the wall, flips around, and glides the other way.
The life guard is a cute girl, small, with dark hair, and soft smile.

The pool is blue. The water looks blue
but I know it is not. It is water, clear and the color
of your hand.

My daughter makes fun of other kids.
What can I say.
I am sitting on cement steps, looking at the pool
and I am sad because I am reading poetry
and that’s what poetry does to me and I like it.

Read the rest of Echo Park Pool and other poems.

Photo by Comparator via Flickr

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