Sunday, April 18, 2004

Today I participated in a reading known as the "third Sunday salon" in Healdsburg, sponsored by Chip Wendt and Martha Dwyer. The featured reader (me) reads after the open reading section in which all of Healdsburg seemed to turn out with hands raised high to read. Jeez. All of my good girl tendencies went out the door: politeness, holding a space for people to be however they need to be, treating all work as potential gold. Some of it was tedious; if not the poetry itself, the amount of time it went on for. We sat through two hours of open mike poetry (my favorite: croc man) before it was my turn to read. I ostensibly had a half hour to read in, but at the end of that length of time it felt fair to read something short. I really felt my patience wear thin. I hope I didn't dispaly outwardly how I felt inwardly, but the philosophy that everyone who turned up wanting to read, should therefore get a chance, irked me. It's precisely why I began Livewire the way I did. I wanted containment and a promise to deliver to the audience something finished, or at least, beveled around the edges.

But it's hard to be ungrateful when you've been given a chance to read. I was extra tired too because we spent the night with Jesse & Sarah last night, saw a late movie and stayed up til nearly two in the morning. But in the long run it was good. It made me feel lonely for some of my close writing buds, those people who are doing the work of a writing life, not just writing poems. Because I guess, the reality is, I've chosen to be a career writer. I plan to make a living writing, I work hard on all aspects of my writing life. It also made me feel a twinge of sadness at giving over LiveWire. I realize that there was some benefit to me in it, I got to continually surround myself with writers that I enjoy. But the payment is that I get more time to write. I get more psychic capacity in my brain all to myself.

So there you have it.



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