I’ve got what amounts to a 19-minute poem to lay on them.
For 10 years now, ever since “Poems from the Like-Free Zone” came out, I’ve been passing out these stickers at my gigs. I think it’s one of the reasons that the CD still sells well. I order them from a great company called The Sticker Guy, and I’ve probably given away 100,000 by now. Whatever it takes.
Poet SAYS, “I wasn’t going to read this, but it was requested.” Poet MEANS, “I have nothing new so I’ll pretend someone twisted my arm.”
Other useful translations:
When a Poet Says . . .
“I just wrote this today,” what the poet really means is . . .
Either “So if it sucks be nice to me.”
Or, “So if it’s awesome, then what can I say: I’m awesome!”
When a poet says, “This poem is in three parts,” what the poet really means is . . .
“I came here wanting to read these three poems, but I didn’t know there was a one-poem limit in the open mic so I’ve put them all together and hope you won’t notice.”
When a poet says, “I’m going to give you a choice
between two poems I could read,” what the poet really means is . . .
“I don’t have anything new to read so I’ll let the audience decide
between these two tired, old signature poems that everyone has heard
way too many times so that I can pretend it was beyond my control.”
When a poet says, “This poem is relatively new,” what the poet really means is . . .
“I wrote this a month ago.”
When a poet says, “This poem is newish,” what the poet really means is . . .
“I wrote this two months ago.”
When a poet says, “This poem used to be new” what the poet really means is . . .
“I can’t believe I’ve been calling this a new poem for a year already!”
When a poet says, “I wasn’t going to do this poem tonight
but someone requested it,” what the poet really means is . . .
“Again, I have nothing new to read tonight so I’m going to pretend that I have a fan
in the back who insisted that I read this tired, old signature poem.”
When a poet says, “I’m going to try to get through this.”
what the poet really means is . . .
“This poem is old, but I still pretend that it makes me cry so back the fuck off!”
When a poet says, “How am I doing on time?” what the poet really means is . . .
“I know that I am probably way over time already.”
When a poet says, “Do I have time for one more?” what the poet really means is . . .
“I’m hoping there’s no one in the audience with the guts to tell me I’m over time already.”
I love what I do (what I GET to do), but sometimes I don’t think things all the way through. Like considering whether I’d want to start back into teaching less than eight hours after I got home from a glorious week diving in Mexico celebrating our anniversary.
On the first day of vacation in a tropical locale try to get NO SUN WHATSOEVER. Don’t go for “a base coat,” or . . .
. . . a light bronzing,” or tell yourself that since it’s already late afternoon, the sun’s burning hours are gone. Actively seek to get no sun. Assiduously apply the sunblock. Wear your hat. Stay in the shade. You can afford to squander one day of the precious poison. The next morning, standing in front of the mirror, dripping, catalog yesterday’s failures. The spot you could not reach is red. There is a pale outline of your lazy lotioned left hand on your right arm.The sun requires this vigilance.
I’m hosting the 5/26 Page Meets Stage pairing of Dorianne Laux & Shira Erlichman at the BPC. Can you say “These women rock!”?
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010, 8:00 pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
Visit www.pagemeetsstage.com for more info.
Am up early with @MEMali to workout before another day of diving. Tried again to watch a movie last night (and failed)!
@TaylorMali (awkwardly tapped out on my iPad)