Ghost in the Machine

The reading at the Mission Cultural Center was amazing! It’s been more than a year since I have had more than 10 minutes to do mah thing and I made sure to take advantage of the longer feature time.


In the “Put Up O Shut Up” Dept: Recent posts regarding form have definitely inspired me to embrace the décima and sonnet even though I didn’t follow the correct rhyme scheme for Décima del Pobre Niño so have since renamed it Canto pare el Niño Pobre. On the flip side, Sonnet for the #4 Line is in pentameter and does follow a very classic formula. Many thanks again to Jack Agüeros’s Sonnets from the Puerto Rican for helping me to understand and engage the sonnet in a more personal way.

In the “New Shit!” Dept: I wrote both the sonnet and the décima only a few hours before the feature. A fact I didn’t share at the reading cuz I was short on time and while it is cool to bring the new hotness announcing it can sometimes be a crutch and, besides, to this audience just about everything I read was New Shit.

In the “Subtle Segue Way” Dept: Speaking of audience, I have been thinking a bit about just how much I have audience in my head when I write.

Straight up– Yes, I do think about audience when I write because one of my poetic concerns is bringing poetry to as many different communities as possible. However, I do NOT write thinking that I want to please any specific community since I know that will trigger a very harsh inner editor that will not allow me to write anything that challenges me or my “audience.”

The in-between is this apparition of an audience whose faces I can sort of make out but can’t quite make out. This “audience” shifts as I write line to line and also morphs from reading to reading allowing me to always try to come up with New Shit while still working out the kinks from old pieces.

Am I thinking about this way too much? Maybe. I have heard of poets who claim to write with no audience in mind and if that is what works for them then more power to em but I gotta work with what drives me so there’s that.

Mad love to all the poetas of the evening (a true highlight was the work, and conviction, of Yosimar Reyes) and Paul Flores for bringing us all together.

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