Last night I read about ten minutes of poetry at Patasola’s Parlor, a monthly reading and performance series coproduced by Lisa Marie Basile and Emily Linstrom, two powerhouse NYC poets for whom I’ve had immense respect for ages. I’ve participated in The Poetry Brothel with LMB for a while now, and have never once failed to be blown away by her work, so I was thrilled to be asked to read at her event, alongside poet Katie Longofono, storyteller Mike Amato, and burlesque artists Coco Te Amo and Zee Valenteen. But I was nervous.
Poetry is kind of my privileged child. I love to write poems, but I’ve never become much of a student of poetry. I’ve never gotten into the poetry “scene” or gotten familiar with the zines and journals. I don’t read a whole lot of poetry. I don’t attend many readings. I guess that or me, poetry has always been one form of expression that I enjoyed creating in kind of a vacuum. It’s not that I don’t want other people to enjoy it–I totally do. But if other people DON’T enjoy it, or want to publish it, or whatever, that’s fine with me. It’s my baby. My little bubble of self-expression that I don’t really work at. I’ve shared it at Poetry Brothels and put a few poems out into the world in a few publications, but it’s never been My Thing. So I have no real idea if anyone out in the world would enjoy what I write, aside from the often-drunken crowds at the Poetry Brothel who always politely listen and clap, but never give much feedback. Who knew if anyone else would want to listen to me read?
Last night I got to find out! First off, Lisa Marie gave me the most STUNNINGLY awesome intro EVAR. I asked her to introduce me however she wanted, and holy moly, I got more than I expected. I wish I had a video of the whole thing, because I forget the specifics, but the word “brilliant” may have been in there, along with the word “respect” and something about how I write about sex in a way that doesn’t suck. I was totally amazed and honored to have a woman for whom I have so much respect and love say such awesome things about me. Wow. Frealz.
And then I got up in front of everybody and started reading this poem called “Monster Side,” and when I was finished, everyone clapped and someone in the crowd yelled, “I LOVE YOU!” I mean. Holy shit, people. My stars were aligned. People were clapping and cheering and laughing at the right parts, and everyone enjoyed my poems. It was fabufreakingtastic.
After everything was said and done, one of the people in the crowd told me that he found my poetry very visceral, which I take as a massive compliment. It’s not that I don’t see an appeal to esoteric poetry and philosophical weirdness, but for me, poetry comes from a very deep well of emotion. I almost never write it unless I’m on a high or a low, and it usually hurts or pleasures me to do it. So yes, visceral indeed.
And then I met the girl who said she loved me, and she is lovely, and a poet, and she might come over to my house sometime to work on some art projects with me and my partner Jayel.And I won a raffle and now I have two of Lisa Marie Basile’s chapbooks to read (yessss) and I even got a free drink ticket!
So, yes, world. My poetry is apparently quite good according to other people. And life is beautiful. Oh, and Lisa’s press, Patasola Press, is accepting submissions until the end of the month, so GET ON IT!