Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Poetry Affair

I have a history of taking Eddie to places where we might wake up murdered.  Finding LTV Studios at dusk is now part of that history.  Why I thought East Hampton was west of Southampton, I don't know, but I do know that by the time we found the studios in the middle of the woods all the way out east, we were happy to be alive even though our asses were asleep.

One of the poets for whom I did some editing work invited me to read with a gang of East-end poets at A Poetry Affair, a wonderful gala set up in a beautiful TV studio.  We had the opportunity to sell books and meet the audience, and since I have no books to sell, I brought a clipboard for an email list and a bunch of strips of paper with all my avatars (Tumblr, Pinterest, this blog, that blog) listed.  Knowing audiences the way I do, I started the list with two fake names and emails because no one wants to be first.  You know what?  I got two more, though the first one I'm pretty sure was out of pity because the woman next to me was lining up five different books that she's had published and was having a difficult time finding space until I told her I had no books so she could use my space.  Then she asked how I was going to decipher the first two names on the list (which I'd scribbled but she didn't know that), so I said, I'm an English teacher so I can read any handwriting, and that was, apparently, the funniest thing in the world.  Or she was laughing because of all the pity.

Cool signs. In the woods.
The stage was gorgeous, tea lights and green plants.  There was also a massive screen at the back of the stage so when a poet read, the head of the poet was a hundred times larger in the back of the stage.  The organizer told me I looked stunning on the screen.  I told myself it was a good think I'd used self-tanner all week.

Odd things: the people in front of us seemed to have luggage.  However, I realized they were suitcases carrying books, so that wasn't so odd after all.  Someone sang.  Eddie loves it when poets sing poems.  Someone was sleeping.  Someone always falls asleep.  Eddie usually takes a picture of the sleeper, but wasn't able to do so because it was too dark.  I think one of our favorite things is people falling asleep in public when not on transportation.  Public transportation sleeping is perfectly acceptable.  Otherwise?  Public sleeping is almost as funny as people falling, which is the funniest thing in the world as long as no one is hurt.  Anyway.
Luggage.  We are such assholes.

I look like I'm about to beat somebody up...
...and then hiss at them.

I had a really great time reading.  I was prepared to read for nine minutes.  I watched the timer in the back and ending my last poem as it wound down.  I followed the directions.  Other poets?  Not so much.  One went up and talked a lot and ran way over time until the organizer told her the timer was in the back and she was like, Oh! okay! just one last one then.  One poet couldn't believe how much time he had and kept thumbing through pages to fill the time.  In between, there was some really good poetry.  There was some questionable poetry.  Then, of course, there was the audience interaction and singing.  By the time it was over, we were wiped out and realized that we'd still be listening to poetry had the two other poets not canceled.  We were also starving because we hadn't eaten because it took almost two hours to get there and the snacks were not the type of snacks that fill you up.  So I thanked the organizer, gathered my clipboard and papers, and we headed out to Burger King.  In about two hours, we were home, thinking about how to install a large screen somewhere in the house to project our heads onto it.

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