“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-
â€œYou are going to troop down to the Bowery to read for eight people early on a New Years afternoon.â€
and my mercurial side responds-
â€˜yeash! itâ€™s something youve never done b4! lets go for it, sun!!!â€™
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. Niceâ€¦ except they didnâ€™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 â€œMotBâ€ here comes William Wallace- â€œFreedom!â€
(and I am wondering if it was the fact that he wasnâ€™t feeling the poem)
and as I break into the home stretchâ€¦ they hit some music to drown me out.
(and I only had ten seconds to goâ€¦ I swear!)
I would have felt worse but I gave up my ten seconds to the Rev and thatâ€™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 didnâ€™t disrespect the spirit of the event, itâ€™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 doesnâ€™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.