Friday, January 6, 2012
Ed Skoog at The Hugo House
Sometimes poetry reading are like so much clucking, wings waving, an awful and boring mess of feathers and birdshit. But sometimes the clucking quiets. Broods. And produces, magically, an egg. It was like this last night at The Hugo House.
Following an extended warm-up act (5), Ed Skoog stepped on to the stage like John Candy in Stripes' mud-wrestling scene. Stood up there with honest confidence and delivered like the Big Boy kid with cheeseburger.
I'm playing around a bit here because Ed strikes a big, imposing figure. But he's no clown. Dresses well. Like a character out of All The King's Men. Slightly formal. Very polite. And slightly old-fashioned. But clear, warm and open as the poems he read quite imperiously.
Ed Skoog looked like he'd popped into the Pub after a busy afternoon of pheasant shooting. Popped into the pub to snare a few tit bits of Raclette, Goldfish, caviar, smoked duck and, perhaps, a small bowl of spiced artichoke soup.
Ed Skoog read well. Well-paced. And confidently. Smooth as an egg in a fairy tale. A fairy tale tinged perhaps, no, surely, with sadness. O, La Vie, La Vie,...
Dishevelled up a bit, Ed Skoog might have resembled a conductor in one of Prague's tourist-castle concerts.
And, so, of course, I ended up trapped in the castle. And could do nothing but stare out the frosty window. Like a bemused child. And there, lo and behold, on the sidewalk was the evening's last piece of magic: Ed Skoog transforming into a goose.
And rising up into the starry night. Honking gently.