Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Well, that's that. My reading's done and it went pretty well. Having never read any of the poems aloud, my biggest fear was that my delivery would be boring, but everyone seemed entertained. I read eight or nine poems, including one I had written a few days before that's not in the book. It was inspired by the spiffy Monkey King t shirt which I bought just for this reading.

There were about thirty or so people present, some I knew, some I didn't, but I have to say I was definitely out of my comfort zone, putting myself in front of a crowd. It really underscores the general isolation of the writing experience. I'm not sure which surprised me more, the audience's positive reaction to the reading, or the emotional connection I felt to each piece as I said each line aloud.

Of course, like any self respecting poet/writer (involuntary roll of the eyes)as soon as the reading was over I went out with my friends for drinks, where we talked about everything but writing (thank god). Then, like any self respecting post boomer, I spent the rest of the night playing video games. Marlowe would have done no different, and he might have lived longer if he had Tekken to play.

I'll leave you with the last poem I read, the one not in the book, though it fits the tone.

The Monkey King's Mechanical Children

When he was their age Old Monkey had a pair-

of cloud-treading shoes
a cuirass and a cap
with phoenix plumes
a compliant rod
and a bad attitude

There were three of them, three brothers-

They seared the sky with their plasma boots
and towered in their mecha suits
above the ruin of Buddha's garden
Reclined in peaceful meditation
at first he denied paternity

But beneath the gaze of their monstrous guns-

He stood at last
grabbed his staff
and winked and spat and said:

"It's true in those days I was frequently drunk,
so I might have known your mother after all."

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