The irony will hit you in a moment. I write things, though, because I want you to like them. I do not really care if you think I’m a good writer, or if I am to be famous. Writing seems like a thing people get to do because they’ve done it before, and in that way I suppose I want you to read things for selfish reasons. But generally, I write about things I like (or things I wish I could like if they were a little better/different). I don’t care if you like me, but I like it when people like the things I like. For whatever reason. It’s crazy.
Like most freelance writers, I pick my ‘assignments’, so I usually ‘cover’ things that I want to go to anyway. It’s a neat arrangement! I think it makes the work easier to do and the writing better. I don’t always see Facetime to Facetime with MG Siegler, but his recent point about people covering soulless, uninteresting beats was good. When you write about something you don’t really care about, it shows. So — onward and upward.
Last Saturday I went to a poetry reading in like the most northern part of Greenpoint possible. It was at a bistro/wine bar/coffee shop called Milk and Roses. I went to see my favorite living poet work. Her name is Heather Christle, and her work is amazing and always makes me see the world differently. She once did a thing where she gave out her number and had people call her and then she read them poems. Her latest book, her third, actually comes out today and you can buy it. You can also hear her reading her poems at Textsound. I recommend “I Am Coming Over”.
Anyway, here is one of her poems.
“ONE OF SEVERAL TALKING MEN”
Because my head is a magnet for bullets
I am spending the day indoors. First
I admired the topiary for several hours
and when my eyes began to ache I rang
for lunch. Lunch arrived with injunctions.
I considered my feet. I did not consider
my altitude. Because I stuffed myself
into the reliquary, I am finding movement
difficult. Luckily, I would not dream
of dancing in this outfit. You must be
a foreign exchange student. Allow me
to make an observation. We live beneath
a frugal moon, and only in her bad light
do our women seem consumptive.
Though what do I know. I am, moreover,
a senatorial moment, and if you don’t
forget me, I may do it myself. You could
conceivably think I’ve never known love,
but I suspect that in the war years, when nurses
bandaged my wounds with repetitive flair,
there existed between us if not affection,
at least a sense that the subject could arise.
Finally, if you want to read about how the PeopleHerd Poetry Cabaret was (very fun/nice) and the reading in general went, then you can read this thing I wrote about it:
Five minutes before the scheduled start, the line at the counter (at that point a bar) was three deep. Patrons were drinking coffee still, but also beer, and largely wine: pendulous goblets in twos and threes dotted virtually every table. Even before the reading had begun, the night was going exactly as co-curator Patrick Gaughan envisioned it over a year ago.
“I wanted to create a reading series in a lowlit backroom atmosphere,” Gaughan said. “As easy as that sounds, I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I made it.”
The atmosphere was definitely wined, but not debauched; well above the nervous mediocrity of a typical open-mic night.