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.

and

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

*yes, the italics do denote sarcasm.

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