I'm still in disbelief over how fantastic the whole evening was. I began the night as I usually do, nervous as hell about reading and full of self-doubt about whether I belonged there among the great local talent that was spilling out of the room. I was a featured reader, which meant that I could pretty much read whatever the hell I wanted, and my poems were burning a hole in my pocket, as the more I thought about them, the more I was sure they were all wrong for the event.
But, as usual, things changed. Part of it, of course, was seeing the warm, familiar faces of folks I've spent time with at other events, like Quiet Lightning and Literary Death Match. How long could I stay nervous in a room that offered so many smiles and hugs? But even the people I didn't know contributed to a warm feeling in the room. Hosts Paul Corman-Roberts and Valerie Chavez have created one of those events with space for a wide range of artists. Maybe not so much literal space, as I learned later that they had to turn people away at the door, but for those who came early, there was plenty of figurative space for all. And the readers filled the space with a variety of enthralling performances.
So by the time the show began, I began to think maybe my poems felt right, after all. And by the time I got up to read, I was sure of it. Here's what happened, recorded by Evan Karp. And be sure to check out videos of the other performers on Youtube here.