Voyd of Course

"It's like the Onion, only skinnier!" --Milton Swift "Still worth the price of the paper it's not printed on." --Felicia DuBois "The unspeakable, spoken." --Malin Wuptke "More interesting than computer solitaire, though perhaps not so effective a distraction from the void." --Harlan J. Rippington "Satire today, history tomorrow." --Steven Wallace

My Photo
Name:
Location: Santa Fe, NM, United States

In 1966, I wrote a fake newspaper article under the headline "JACK CASS SETS WORLD SHOWERING RECORD." Mr. Yohans, my 9th grade English teacher, liked it so well that he read it aloud--to much not-quite-suppressed giggling, at the sound of which, Mr Yohans said, "What? What? Did I miss something here?" I spent the rest of the afternoon in Principal Leon Duff's outer office. When Mr. Duff, who was a busy man, decided he didn't have time to see me, his secretary sent me back to the classroom, where I was greeted like McMurphy returning from solitary. Emboldened by my de facto exoneration, my friends began work on their own fake news stories. I remember a spate of Russian names in the stories, including "Ivan Kutchikokoff" and "Ivan Jerkinov." Needless to say, our newly suspicious teacher sent both of my friends to Mr. Duff's office, where they were not as bureaucratically blessed as I had been. They sat detention for a week. This I took as a lesson in subtlety--and in how to start a commotion and slip from the room before the law comes down.

Monday, October 17, 2005

By Unpopular Demand: A New Poem by Chuck Calabreze

THE TRUTH ABOUT POETRY READINGS


The truth about poetry readings is none of us wants to be here.

The truth about poetry readings is your friend knows the poet and that’s why you’re here.

Or your sister married the poet and you like your sister and feel bad that she has to go to all of his poetry readings and sit by herself.

Or the poet taught a wonderful workshop that you attended and he’s kinda famous so you dragged your friend and sister to see him so they could see that you know a sorta famous poet who will probably say hello to you and maybe even remember your name.

Or coming to the reading seemed like something you ought to do, like going to the dentist or watching the history channel or practicing your instrument or calling your mother.

The truth about poetry readings is you can’t wait for it to be over.

The truth about poetry readings is only the poet seems to be having any fun, and you’re not even sure about him.

The truth about poetry readings is you’re hoping the poet doesn’t start shuffling papers.

The truth is you’re hoping he doesn’t say, “This next poem is forty five pages long and is a modern retelling of The Odysssey.”

The truth about poetry readings is you’re trying very hard not to fall asleep.

The truth about poetry readings is you’re hoping there’s food afterward, but you know there will only be chips and salsa and sparkling water or—if you’re really lucky--a vegetable platter from Albertson’s with a plastic container of ranch dressing in the middle.

The truth about poetry readings is that you lost track of the last poem after the second line and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t stop thinking about what you have to accomplish tomorrow.

The truth about poetry readings is sometimes you feel obligated to clap after every poem because everyone else is.

The truth about poetry readings is you think maybe you’ll hear fewer poems that way.

The truth about poetry readings is you’re conflicted because you think if you clap after every poem and the poet still reads his one hour’s worth of poems, you’ll be here all night.

The truth about poetry readings is everybody knows why the poet always says “two more”—so you can all relax, knowing that the reading won’t go on forever.

Because you all know but won’t say that you can’t wait to get to the chips and salsa and sparkling water and be recognized and go home.

“Two more”: Because every poetry reading is approximately one hour too long.

The truth about poetry readings is you were really hoping he’d say “two more short ones.”

The truth about poetry readings is you’re here because you’re a poet, too, and you know you’ll eventually give a poetry reading and you’re hoping the poet will see you at his and feel obligated to come to yours.

The truth about poetry readings is no one ever flicks her lighter and holds it in the air at the end of the poetry reading. Or drives home with the top down, a bottle of beer between her legs, blasting the poet’s poems on the CD player and reciting along.

1 Comments:

Blogger Loca415 said...

Man, can I relate to this one...

8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home