“It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself”
Many months back, Leslie Shipman sends out an invite to her Bronx poets to see if they would be interested in performing at a New Years Day reading. My duality creeps up again as my grounded side says-
“You are going to troop down to the Bowery to read for eight people early on a New Years afternoon.”
and my mercurial side responds-
‘yeash! it’s something youve never done b4! lets go for it, sun!!!’
Luckily, I was slated for a 6-8pm slot which eliminated the rise and shine and my estimation of attendance was way off- the Bowery was packed! As packed as I have ever seen it and when I got to check in I was told that the schedule was behind by 45 minutes.
Todo bien. I got to wish Reid Harris a Happy New Year, headed to the bar and goit to hang out with Leslie for most of the night.
They had a great system to keep the poets in check- if you were approaching the three-minute mark– a dude would start waving a flag. If you got real close, he would start acting like Mel Gibson calling in the Scots in Braveheart. Nice… except they didn’t announce it!
Enter the poeta, approaching the stage thinking he has time to plug the Pietri Tribute and do his poem.
(Side Note- I HATE plugging! I love the events I am associated with and really do believe in them but the act of marketing and then performing has always left me dry. A necessary evil, I know, but I wish I would get better at it because I never feel that I pull both off well.)
As I approach the end of “MotB” here comes William Wallace- “Freedom!”
(and I am wondering if it was the fact that he wasn’t feeling the poem)
and as I break into the home stretch… they hit some music to drown me out.
(and I only had ten seconds to go… I swear!)
I would have felt worse but I gave up my ten seconds to the Rev and that’s what counts.
I am a bit worried about the Tribute because the gathering of the scribes on the first was resplendent with ego and self-importance. All around me, muthafuckas in love with their work and beefing as to what time they would get to read, creating a bad environment that made listening to the current poet a real task.
The funny thing is that the bigger names on the bill were wonderful and didn’t disrespect the spirit of the event, it’s always somebody that gets one feature or appears on their own website and they start believing the shit they wrote in their bio. I hope this shit doesn’t happen at the Tribute because the jerk in me may come out on the Host stage and I will tell people to shut up.