I was looking at old posts and came across THIS one from 2009. In it I talk about the unexplainable sadness that I get at poetry readings. Then I wrote a poem about Abraham Lincoln and how we are all reduced to the images we leave behind and eventually not even that.
I think I can explain my issue with readings better in 2016.
They render the work dead. A thing to recite. They are dull and boring and not much fun. They are staid and quiet and people nod their heads as readers render language into stupefying meaninglessness. They ivory tower. And most damning, they are not interesting.
Before you think I'm advocating for slams...I am not. They are hooting and hollering for buzzwords. They are waiting for the speaker to say a thing in that voice that indicates sass and skepticism. They are equally dead and equally ivory tower.
I think the reading as a form of delivery system for written things is not really worth much outside of a self-aggrandizing need for claps and book sales. That said. They are a thing that is done. Because how else do the words get into the faces? People don't read journals really. And few buy books unless they know the author or happen to find something randomly that they are into.
It's an issue. My solution is to do readings in non-traditional ways. At bars. Online. I don't think it fixes any of the issues with readings. But it means I don't have to go to a book store and stand at a mic and stare into nodding faces going 'mmm' at obnoxious points in the evening.
We break ourselves for what -
There is a sense that we are ships docked together
but what exactly are we afraid of
The drift into horizon -
A sound that is the collapse of self -
We are paper rotting in the hold of night
the only thing to be done is to take that and be it