What kind of nuts really do things like this? Who really believes in the liberating power of such tricky stunts? Poets, of course. And while plenty of people love to roll their eyes at poetry, where would we be without it? The truth is, it's part of a balanced intellectual diet, and it should be consumed regularly. Here's a small dose -- Marianne Moore's "Poetry": "I, too, dislike it./ Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in/ it, after all, a place for the genuine." Ahhh, I feel better already.
At the SFSU Poetry Center's 50/50 Festival ("50 years of poetry past ... 50 years of poetry future"), the range of celebratory verse looks wide enough for any taste, encompassing five stages presenting simultaneous performances (don't worry -- organizers are handing out maps). If you're a subversive type, try Jack Spicer's "Magic Workshop." Fans of the lyricism of Pablo Neruda should appreciate that the 100th anniversary of his birth is noted here with bilingual readings. A lineup of San Francisco's best-loved big-shot versifiers -- including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, and devorah major -- will no doubt be a general favorite. And in the afternoon, a free kids' program features readings and workshops for those who are as yet unlicensed.