Friday, June 30, 2006

Take That, British Empire!

Happy Friday, cruel world.

I get a four-day weekend and there's nothing you can do about it. I'm going to sit on my fat, dimpled ass and play one game of Free Cell after another. I'm going to use my time off to hang out with my cat George. By hang out, I mean ignoring her cries for attention within the 1,400 square feet of my home, instead of all the way from work.

I'm going to turn my alarm off and sleep long enough to get bedsores by the time Tuesday rolls around. That's the mark of a good vacation in my book. Though I'm not a proponent of multitasking--and certainly not during the course of precious time off, I plan to bust out a few bedsores AND grow a beard. That's what people do on vacation, isn't it?

Avoiding: Blues Festivals, Fireworks, Crowds, Yardwork, Telephones.

Happy In Depends Day!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Weekly Poetaster Report

...as this is turning out to be, anymore.

What exactly is that annoying inflection with which poets read? It's not decidedly upward, as it doesn't gain or reach for anything, and it resolves in a downward tone only sporadically. It's an inflection peculiar to poets, seeming to bend just enough to almost be a whine in reverse. It vibrates between bitchiness and pretentiousness--perhaps it intones bitchtentiousness.

It's made worse with a slam attitude and /or rap hands. Or singing. The poet's inflection is a voice that seems to have wearied from it's own sound, it's own thoughts. It's a lilt that professes boredom and disinterest while at the same time smacks of arrogance in its self-consciousness.

I worry that I may be missing good poetry because I can't stand to listen to the awful reading of it. I'm almost tempted to ask for copies of the readers poems so that I can take in the work objectively without the irritating rendering of the pieces.

Once again, I'm smiling outwardly, feigning interest, but inside I'm praying to any deity within earshot to strike me dead before I have to clap for yet another bad reading of bad poetry.

How does one respond to a person who doesn't know how to read or write their own poetry?

An enthusiastic"Wow, you should really workshop that," is the best I can do, still looking them straight in the eye. Delivered with a tone of voice sounding complimentary, it's really a suggestion to get a second opinion before calling the piece finished.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

Never Mind The Poetry

I meant to post this Tuesday night, but I just don't know where to start. As you may or may not know, or care, I occasionally attend Alberta Street Pub's Broken Word poety reading on Tuesdays. Sometimes I read, sometimes I just sit and suffer. This last week's revue was particulary awful--except for the main event, which was the release of a collaborative work called Dipshit Love.

You'll never guess who sidled up to me at my table. Yup. The crazy bag lady who has it in for David Lerner. She set her Screwdriver down on the table, asked nicely if she could sit with me, I obliged, and she started through her bag of poems, looking for the perfect selections to read for the evening. I couldn't believe it. Alice Olds-Ellingson was sitting at my table. The heckled and the heckler, rubbing elbows, breaking bread, making nice. OK, we never did any of those things. We never spoke to one another except for "Can I sit here?" and "Of course. Please..."

That doesn't mean she didn't talk. The whole night.

There was the assorted commentary, usually supportive and congratulatory of the other readers. And of course, there was the crazy banter, those things that only meant something to Alice.

Particularly, when one woman gave some background to the poem she was about to read, she said something that sounded like " eat Demerol.." A fellow in the audience shouted, "Eat Demerol?" The reader responded with the correct phrase, which I can't remember--because of the commentary soon to follow...

"Yeah, Eat Demerol," joked the poet on stage, and Alice immediately added, "At Dennys."

I don't remember anything else. I laughed to myself the rest of the evening.

You gottt love crazy people. Unarmed crazies, anyway.

At Denny's...ha ha .


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sleepless In Seattle


I've had a bout of insomnia for the last week or so. I'm in Seattle--at the DoubleTree at SeaTac, actually, sitting in my room after 2 (shared) bottles of wine and a Kettle One martini. Didn't sleep last night, not ready to hit the sack just yet, in spite of ongoing and cumulative exhaustion.

In th Emerald City for a software seminar. Can you believe that? I'm not here for a concert, or to buy drugs, or to sign books, but to sit in a stuffy,windowless room learning the finer points of a medical office software program. I'm such a fucking sell-out.

At least I'm drunk. And awake.

Drunk, awake in Seattle,

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