ON POETRY LAPS
I go back to New York City, on average, about four times a year. I usually go for other reasons besides poetry, though try to insert in gigs while I'm there (or thereabouts). Well, I'm off to New York this Friday (for visual art & culinary reasons) and on the way back, I stop off in Philadelphia to do an Inverse Poetry Series reading with Ron Silliman -- okay Allen, I'll trade offers with you: you make it to this reading and you can sit on my lap while I read poems.
This Philly reading will be special. Why? Because after not knowing what to read, the idea was dropped into my lap by the universe. Of course, the Fallen Angels being what they are, the universe drops the message on my lap in a rather perverse fashion. To wit,
...a Peep out there read one of my books and emailed that he liked it...but it made him "genuinely puzzled that [Moi has] not attracted more national notice."
After snorting out a laugh over his nice compliment, I realized that his diction had a dark edge. You mean all Moi blather is not attracting national notice????
Fortunately, I snorted out another laugh since Fame, after all, ain't the point in Poetry, right? [Insert Chatty's Wink at several Peeps...]
But Philly -- you get to hear me read from the book that should have placed me in the canon but didn't! Heh.
Speaking of "canon," I got a press release with one of the review books sent for Galatea Resurrects. It's an awful press release! It touts the poet for having joined the canon (yes, it uses that word)....geezus, the total lack of self-awareness in people. If you're a poet of color, one would think you'd be the last person bragging about having become part of the "canon." If I send that book out, I'm thinking of doing that poet a favor and sending it without that press release -- particularly since the book itself is full of lovely poems...and, it occurs to me, maybe the press release was written by the publisher without the poet's input. Anyway, people invested in poetry fame ... often end up being fodder for others' amusements. There's a reason for that.