29 September 2009

Cheapen, poetry readings make me sad

Is it true of all artists that they feel like they are lacking in their art?

This question plagues me. If I fear anything, it is giving all of this up and it somehow being ok with me. The idea that I could go on with my life not thinking about writing. Not answering 'writer' when asked what I do. This scared the shit out of me.

I went to a reading at the New School tonight. This was after an obnoxiously long day at work tearing apart a failed branch of our business. All vacuuming couches and boxing used dishware. I was tired to begin with is what I'm saying.

So I go to this reading. A reading for the winners of a chapbook contest at the New School. And I am genuinely happy for the woman I know who won. Because she is a writer I actually like, who I believe deserves a little credit. She has a book coming out. Again, deserved. I will buy it. I don't want this to seem like an angry letter to X about X. It isn't at all.

The whole thing makes me sad beyond belief. The reading, the clapping, even the little chap books they published. I cannot place the sadness. It is ambiguous and larger then a feeling of 'shoulda been me'. After the reading everyone seemed a bit down in general, maybe it is a state of the world moment?

Sad, tired, hungry I ended up at a Quiznos eating alone in NY. I wonder the aisles of The Strand and then head home on the 4.

What sort of point is here Michael?

None. I have no point. Do I wish I had a book coming out, sure. But I don't know what that would mean to me. If it would mean...that is also something that scares me. Getting what you think you wanted all along and finding out that it didn't mean anything to you.

Here is today's poem. It started out about pennies...it ended up about death or something like it.


Cheapen (9/29)

Pennies tarnish - turn green the
milky waters of the bay

There are barnacles that look like Lincoln
on hulls of schooners

His nose smells all seven seas and in
Times Square they have a bit of curtain

From the Ford theater - history
under glass - untouchable

Eventually all faces are left to pictures only
just masks

Of paper
there is a thickness to blood lacking in paper

That copper taste and the red that seals brown
that softens in water