the countdown

one mo time with the blogger ritual- in two hours ima be at johnny o’s in the bronx doing my thing and it looks like a good number of well wishers will be in attendance. i’ve never been comfortable with self-promotion. i can plug the shit out of an event and even an ensemble i am in but for my own personal stuff- nah. normally, i tell a few choice folks and then wait to see what crowd the venue generates cuz, on the real, i hate to be dissapointed.

my very first time reading at 13 i told my friend chris(tina) all about it. me and chris had been hanging hard for the last few months and survived a lot of shit together and when a mutual friend pulled some shit- chris backed me up. it was getting to the point where i was calling her parents “mom and dad” and nobody was batting an eye (except chris- she hated that shit and thats why 99% of the time her parents would play along) so, chris had been seeing all my “break up” poems and all my “there are way too many metaphors in here” poems and was always impressed with my, errr. work leading me to belive that my stage debut would be hot shit. i was right- she jumped up and down and was all hugging me when i told her. “i will SO be there when you go on.”

she wasnt and that was that. my patience for her bullshit (turns out that she precipitated the argument between me and the other friend. a fact i didnt find out about till moths later) became thin and soon enough, as i am prone to do, she slipped thru the cracks of my life.

the female lead in the ‘ceviche’ poem almost did the same shit but luckily for both of us, she didnt and her presence at the inital reading of the poem kick started my “rise” in poetic stock.

i am a lot more mature about all this shit now and i rarely take an adscence badly. if you didnt show- you didnt show. doesnt really matter to me why cuz i dont claim to be the most important thing on the planet. if you promised you would be there- an explanation would be nice but, again, not neccesary. which leads to one of the best feelings in the world- the surprise turn out. when folks just show up without being prompted or anything that feels SO good. last year the louder crew showed up at one of my “poetically incorrect” features unannounced and really made my muthafuckin day.

this time around i hit my e-list HARD and almost 200 people got hit up with announcements plus a couple of listserves. yeah, i havent been doing this for this long and not acquired a pretty good sized database. the way things are going my acentos crew will be in the house and thats all i really need. for me, if an acentos feature brings in 10 of their own people- they did their job and i think that i am going to comfortable hit that number. and, of course, im competing against loudermondays so that will be fun and i am wondering what a night at 13 is gonna be like sans the latino contingent. of course, the acentos crew isnt a race thing and i consider someone like matt siegel a die hard acentos fan and a part of the fam.

ok, ive just gotten five phone calls of folks verifying the address. i feel better and my ‘are people gonna show up’ nerves are calm which leads into my ‘i better do myself and m’people proud’ nerves kicking into gear.

wish me luck, you pretty jibaros!

Author: Oscar Bermeo

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of the chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below, and To the Break of Dawn. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.

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