poets are people too.

fort mason was a bust. a twelve hours spent preparing and then twelve hours waiting for people to ask for poems with only two or three customers in a crowd of thousands kind of bust. to add insult, a woman with a french accent, who seemed not curious but genuinely perplexed about my merchandise–poems written on photos found in a woman’s obituary book, strange self-portraits, and scenes from a living room circa 1960overheard–not only told me she was not interested in my poems, but also made a grimace i won’t soon forget. noticing her uncommon reaction to my work, thinking maybe she just didn’t have her glasses on, i smiled, “you’re welcome to pick things up and read them.”

she grimaced harder, “no, i dohn, ugh, i no read dis, ugh, oou, what you call poetry. dis not, ugh, rumi. no?” she looked at me as if i should agree. she paused. there was awkward silence. “dis, ugh, what you call poetry, you write, yesss?”

“yes, i write all these poems.”

she grimaced even harder, “no, i no read dis. ugh, dis duhz noht cut in to,” she pointed all her fingers into her chest, forcefully, “my soul.”

my mouth dropped to the floor a little. “to each their own, i guess,” i said, shrugging, laughing a little “ha” kind of laugh that was really an attempt to prevent tears.

moral(s) of the story:

sometimes some gigs will be total knives to the heart. and, as long as the work is worth it, the hurt will never stop hurting.


poets are people too. A�sensitive (slightly* dramatic) people.

*yes, the italics do denote sarcasm.

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