October 15th, 2005


we love our audience

I have to read poetry in front of a bunch of people today. I am scared. I have to look at what I'm reading a little later to make sure it is finished. well it is not finished but it's already too long so I have to excerpt and see if there was anything I wanted to add at the last minute. it's not always a good idea to read poetry that you've just written but sometimes it is ok. I will just have to be as objectively judgmental as possible.


GHOSTING ATOMS: A Poetry Reading
Saturday, October 15, 3pm
Berkeley Art Museum Theater, 2621 Durant Avenue, free admission
reception to follow

This poetry reading will feature almost three dozen Bay Area poets reading works written in response to the experience of the Atomic Age. The program will include works by Laura Moriarty, Bill Berkson, Ron Loewinsohn, Brenda Hillman, Alfred Arteaga, Bill Luoma, Michael Palmer, Leslie Scalapino, Jean Day, Robert Hass, Judith Goldman, Forrest Hamer, Kit Robinson, and Alan Bernheimer, among many others. Ghosting Atoms, an anthology of the poems presented at the reading, will be available for purchase at the reading.

This event is part of a month-long series, sponsored by the Consortium for the Arts and Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, titled The Arts and the Atomic Bomb. Organized in conjunction with the premier of the opera Doctor Atomic in San Francisco, the series commemorates the 60th anniversary of the detonation of the first atomic bomb, and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by examining the atomic age through the lens of the arts. Information about other events in the series can be found at the Consortium for the Arts website.
  • Current Mood
    nervous nervous

hoppin like a toad

yeah this getting up early to do work on the day I am reading poetry with increasingly impressively named poets (I know some of the names but people keep telling me I'm hitting in the big leagues today which I didn't quite realize until Just Now) really was a wash. I tweaked the excerpt for a couple of hours this morning and then came on over to berkeley thinking I'd finish up the Saussure part of my lecture but nothing doing. I can't think in a straight line from one end of a sentence to the other. you know that feeling like when the house music stops you will suddenly have forgotten all the chords?

I'd take a klonopin but I don't want to sleep through the other readers and I don't particularly want to have to put up with klonopin visions when I meditate this evening so I will resist the urge to medicate the nerves. it's always kind of nice to ride the adrenaline afterwards anyway although the whole deal is 2-1/2 hours long and I imagine I am reading close to first so I might be feeling a little drowsy by the end anyway. there is a break and I'm bringing coffee. I'd like to make it through to the reception following just so I can stand around and feel completely outstripped.

the thought occurs that no food may be allowed in the theater. lord I should have brought my chocolate espresso beans. not that they aren't food, but they can be hidden in the bag without getting everything wet.

in a few minutes I will put my shirts back on and go over there. I took all my shirts off to let the sweat dry as I usually do when I'm fairly certain no one else will be in the office. my jacket, shirt, tshirt and brow-wiping rag are draped all over the furniture in here. a couple of cats and I'd be right at home.

time to go.
  • Current Mood
    scared scared


I read about two-thirds of this as there was not time to read it all and I didn't read the paragraphs all in the order that they are written here but I kind of ad-libbed an order at the last minute and I don't remember exactly how it went so here it is in the order I originally had it in.

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the reading itself was really good and there were only a couple of pretentious/boring readers so listening was not painful at all and the time went by really fast but it does that all the time now so maybe I should start thinking about going to see movies again as until now it has always driven me insane to have to watch a movie more than two hours long unless it is Lord of the Rings but it seems that two hours now takes fifteen minutes.

the reception afterwards reminded me of all the reasons I am glad to be spending more time at the art institute than at berkeley as I was roundly ignored by all present except for Lyn who said very nice things and introduced me to Robert Hass who asked me what my dissertation was about and looked away and started talking to Lyn once I was three words into my sentence. how long does it take to say postmodern ethics and gertrude stein. not that long. surely he hadn't yet had the opportunity to get bored with me.

the way things go with me now I can feel like dying and resolve to get out there and try again all at the same time. every time I read I say to myself I must do this more and then all this time goes by while I sit in my room writing autobiographies and dissertations and lectures and paper assignments and drawing naked men and a month later I realize I have not read anywhere and I need to fix that. remember the one-gig-a-month rule. more often and they get tired of you but less often and they forget you.

they clapped. they did clap and at least as long and loud as for any of the others and longer and louder than for some. so I don't know what the ignore trip was about. too busy impressing each other with their recent acquisition of the latest postmodern buzzword I think. or maybe I looked imposing in my pink shirt and silver jewelry and shaved head and nerd glasses and the complete absence of companionship. still. if a performer is standing alone isn't someone supposed to walk up and say hey I liked your piece? or is it my job to walk up to them and say so did you like me.

maybe it was because I was wearing a dick. maybe I should have put on the small one.
  • Current Mood
    drained drained