If interested in having me for a reading, class visit, or conference/festival, please contact me at lorcaloca AT aol DOT com

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Reading Bits (for Anne in AZ)

I will never take a bus from Hamilton to NYC again. Seven hours wasted! I always tell myself that I will use my bus time productively: read, grade, or write. But I never do. I just sit there and stare out the window.
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Silos. I saw a lot of silos.
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NYC is overwhelming. Duh, I know. But I now live in a nice-but-two-street town, and I don't have many dining and shopping options. NYC is brimming with shops and places to eat. Like China Fun!
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I bought a cute green gemstone bracelet in Union Square. When I read my poems I like to flay my arms about. Seriously. And it's nice to have something shiny on a wrist.
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I also bought a scarf. Correction: I bought a scarf that I found in the women's section. Hey, I'm not ashamed. Scarves for men are boring! This scarf is fuzzy and made from autumn-colored yarn.
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I called Matthew Shindell while walking around Union Square. It was good talking to him again.
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I got lost! I was supposed to meet Rigoberto on..err...I've already forgotten...but I thought I was at the right spot, but then he calls me all upset and stuff and demands to know why I'm not at the right spot. I was only like 3 or 4 long blocks away from him. I start walking toward him but I get lost. Yes, walking down from the Avenue of Americas to the Virgin Music Store, I got lost. I couldn't find Rigo. And then to make matters worse, two fire trucks pull up next to the Virgin store. People start to crowd around the store. Rubberneckers. I try to call Rigo but I can't reach him. I start to panic!
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I walk around. I even ask a couple of people for directions but they're no help. Thank you, New Yorkers!
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Then (to quote Merwin) I thought of a better thing: I called up Matthew Shindell again and asked him to get online so he could give me directions to the Cornelia Street Cafe.
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Matthew guides to me very close to the reading venue. I find Bleecker but I can't find the C.S. cafe. I call Rigo again and this time he picks up. He talks me to the coffee shop where's he sitting. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy with me.
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I admit it: I'm terrible with directions. I get lost easily. And then when I get lost, I get flustered and become more confused.
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We arrive at the Cornelia Street Cafe. We spot Rich Villar walking up the street. Then we spot Cathy Park Hong. I haven't seen her since our Iowa days. She's still cute as a button. And then Scott Hightower and Jose show up. Then Patrick Rosal rolls up. And Steven Cordova shows up too.
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We walk down to the basement and I sit close to the stage because I know I'm reading first. Cathy Park Hong sits opposite me. Aracelis Girmay sits next to her.
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The reading space at the Cornelia Street Cafe is intimate: narrow and darkish. Perfect for a reading.
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Rigo introduces me. He mostly talks about himself. Hey, it's Rigo. He mentions that I graduated from Iowa in 1894!! And then mentions that my book will soon be published as a POD book.
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I read my poems. Mostly older stuff, but also a handful of poems I've never read out loud before.
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I had one very embarrassing moment. Instead of saying "I sit in bed" I said "I sit in Ben!" The audience laughed. I tried to recover.
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I usually hate my reading style, but I liked how my voice carried this time. Rigo said I should've talked more in between poems. I should've, but my throat was dry as heck that night, and there was no water on stage for the readers. We were supposed to read for 20 minutes but I only read for 15. My voice was about to give out.
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Aracelis read next. Her poems work wonderfully on the stage and on the page. I'm very envious of that. I had her sign my book.
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Then Cathy closed the reading.
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After the reading I had dinner with Rigo and his MFA students from Rutgers. A smart and funny bunch of kids.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report. I like reading your walking down the road bits. I like the way you mix what you see with what you feel. Wish I could have been at the reading. Howz about posting a poem for your distant friends. And also, if you're so easily prone to getting lost, it's good you live in a 2-street town. JW

Collin said...

I couldn't find CS Cafe the first time either. It's tucked away but a great venue for a reading. Sounds like you had fun despite Rigo and getting lost.

Diana Marie Delgado said...

Thanks for not mentioning me. I hate it when you do that.

Molly said...

My sister lived in NYC for a number of years; I don't think I could have made it anywhere without following her around like a lost duck. Congrats on your reading! (And graduating in the 1800s... my, my.)

Booktender said...

I am so flattered to see my name on your illustrious blog! Flattered? Nay! Overcome with gratitude!! (!)

I'm glad you found your way around NYC to your reading. It would have been Really Bad not have been there. As far as the scarf? Humph. Let me know what color and I will make you a better one. Humph.

Eva is at the desk now. We are training her well. Behave yourself

Booktender said...

Forgot to say:
Rigo graduated in 1894? Wow! He must be old!

Now stop being so hard on yourself.