Misery

well, i went with the g/f to a reading today. Apparently it was supposed to be more of a talk about making literary journals but the woman had books to sell and appeared more than willing to hawk them. I’m just happy my g/f didn’t walk away with an armload as she has a custom of doing at concerts where CDs are splayed across a table at the enterance.

there was a lot of talk about the “mainstream,” which left me to wonder where this wealthy, exclusionary mainstream is in the poetry world, and her work being slapped with a sticker as “difficult.” And how she kicked off her independent journal with readings, featuring writers she knew, that hauled in four thousand bucks a pop – which seems like an entirely unlikely way for Joe Blow to start their own literary journal.

And before all of that she read poorly read her poetry after complaining that, essentially, she (“young poets of the early 90s, into which she grouped herself) had a hard time fitting in with the poetry being written because it was largely personal, self enclosed, etc. etc. etc. which sounded like another way of simply saying that none of them had had any sort of living up to that point and had nothing interesting to say.

I’ve posted before about missing academic life. The regularity of it. The “known-ness” of it. I like hanging around English departments. And then I go to functions like this. My time was wasted. I’d have been better off by just staying home and, well, writing!

That was the overriding experience of my day. An experience I have now vowed to never repeat. But, so the journey wasn’t a complete waste, I did walk away with two things. One, I did the LA Times crossword. I’ve never actually completed one before. The other, ironically, is from the reading. It’s to not be boring. Whatever you do, don’t bore people. If you’re going to write and if you are then going to read that writing to other people, learn to read well. Do away with continually looking down at your own work, remove your hands from the podium, learn when and how to gesticulate, how to use your voice and don’t bore your audience.

Because they are like me. We will turn on you in an instant. And you won’t get us back.

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