03 November 2006

When the writers outnumber the audience

In the midst of an unbelievable deadline crunch, I had to do a reading Thursday evening, with Susan Kernohan and Ania Szado (we were all in All Sleek And Skimming together) for teens at Parliament Street Library. Reading for teens is trickier than reading for a general audience, so I spent a bit more time than usual prepping.

No one showed up. I mean, pretty much no one. The librarian was mighty embarrassed. She ran off and corralled five kids who happened to be in the library. We all sat in a circle in chairs. Ania read first, a very nice reading. She's a good writer. Three of the kids left. Then I read; after all my prep, I dusted off my story "The President's Cold Legs," which I'm rather fond of, and read that, and it made everyone laugh a lot. Then Susan read. She's a great reader. It ended up being pretty fun, just sitting in a circle reading pretty much to ourselves.

The librarian had promised us modest payment — "but no more than $50." We didn't get paid anything, as it turns out. Which I guess is "no more than $50," isn't it?

I'm really tired. I have about 30 pages more to copyedit, and in three hours I'm on a train to Windsor for BookFest. I will read my weirdest fucking poems on Saturday. Maybe I'll write something new and crazy to read.

I'm really tired.

CAVE CANEM (home of prehistorical pooches)

I owe many friends — and even after the recent attrition I still have many friends — emails and phone calls. If you are any of these friends, I have not forgotten you.

I will bring the new Frank Bidart poetry book with me to Windsor. And Kathy Acker's Great Expectations.

Over and out.


At November 03, 2006 12:55 pm , Blogger roxword said...

that's a great corrupted promise! i'll be on the look out for that one. perfect way to scam hungry poets and down and out fiction magicians. and from a librarian at that! the dastardly twisted innocence of it all...a beautiful stew of degraded spotted deception.


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