I don’t usually get nervous about a reading until 10-15 minutes before it starts so the premature butterflies that have been floating around since last night have me feeling really dizzy. I found out last night that my aunt, youngest on my father’s side and more like a cousin, is coming to the reading and got a little freaked out. A couple of my cousins from my mother’s side will be there, too – who haven’t seen me read since my first couple of slams at the Nuyorican – as well as a handful of non-poetry friends, turning it into something of a personal salon.
Somehow, I feel unusually pressured now!
As for what I might read, I haven’t the slightest idea. I’m treating it as a final feature appearance, as much for it likely being true as it is a psyche job on myself to move on with some other projects that have been lingering for a couple of years now. Surprisingly, I could do a solid 20-minute set of relatively new work since my Acentos feature last year, but with family and friends in the audience that haven’t heard much, if any, of my stuff, I’m tempted to air it out a bit.
No 33-1/3, though. 😛
The first “feature” I ever did was when I first took over the space at 13 and Corie Herman and I each did 20-minute sets at the first official a little bit louder. Under the theme of “Stamping on the roots,” taken from my favorite monologue in Chekhov’s The Seagull, I strung together 5-6 of my poems in something intended to vaguely resemble a one-man show. It primarily served to relieve me of the awkwardness of waiting for applause between poems, and I remember rushing through it so fast that it only took 15 minutes! I’m thinking something along those lines might be fun, showing the progression of my work over the years, both in style and substance.
Just writing this has made me even more nervous! Come on out, if you can, and if you’re able, do the full Bronx Culture Trolley tour that ends up at the Blue Ox in time for the reading.