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Saturday, March 01, 2008

West Palm Beach Reading Bits


I know these bits are late.
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I got up last Friday at 6AM to prepare for my 45 minute taxi ride to the Syracuse airport.
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I was so glad the taxi driver wasn't a talker. I just sat in the back and closed my eyes.
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I flew to Atlanta. My already long layover was stretched out to 4 1/2 hours! Snow storms in the Northeast kept delaying my flight. I spent the time eating chicken, talking on the phone, listening to my IPod, eyeing the hot military men, and listening to cheerleaders practice their cheers.
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I arrived in West Palm Beach around 8:30PM. I got a taxi and headed off to the Chesterfield Hotel.
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I went up to my room to drop off my bags and then went down to the bar to meet up with Francisco Aragon and Kevin A. Gonzalez in the hotel bar.
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The dance floor in the bar had little lights embedded in it.
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I've never met Kevin before. He's a bit quiet but very friendly.
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All three of us left the bar and headed off for a late dinner.
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Our hotel was very close to swanky shops. Jimmy Choo. Tiffany & Co.
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Dinner was great. I had a nice steak salad. Our waitress looked like a young Sandra Cisneros.
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We went back to our rooms. We had to get up early the next morning.
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We met in the lobby at 9:45AM. Francisco was sitting on a lobby couch. He told me Sheryl Luna was outside smoking. I went out to greet her.
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When Kevin came down, we headed off to the Society of the Four Arts building. It wasn't very far, but the air was muggy.
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We arrived. We were greeted like conquering heroes! Okay, we were greeted like poets.
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As I explored the library I noticed a portrait of young blonde boy. I read the placard and found out it was a portrait of a young James Merrill!
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The mother of James Merrill was a member of the Society of the Four Arts. In fact, our honoriums came from a fund the mother set up for writers.
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The reading started at 11AM. I was a bit worred no one would show up at such an early hour, but we had a great turnout. Over 4O people made it to the reading.
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Richard Blanco was kind enough to show up.
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I read first. I was a bit nervous. But I quickly adjusted. I think I gave a very good reading. I refrained from talking inbetween poems. I just read my poems. I also read a poem by the talented Emmy Pérez.
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Kevin read next. He read poems full of dirty words! He shocked the audience. A few old ladies fainted. JK! He's a good reader. And I LOVED the last poem he read.
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Sheryl Luna was the third reader. She has a great reading voice. I don't think she read any new stuff. Just poems from her book and the anthology.
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The audience was great. They were interested and engaged. And they bought a lot of books after the reading. We sat at a table and signed book after book.
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I realized I need to build a repertoire of witty and interesting things to write in books. This is what I wrote in more than one book: "Thanks for coming to the reading. My room number is 304. Don't knock, just come in."
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Thanks to Francisco Aragon for helping to set up this reading! He has posted more pics here.

7 comments:

Marcelisima said...

Congrats! Love the photos. :-)

Francisco Aragón said...

Indeed: all three of you read wonderfully. Thank you for making the trip and weathering those layovers.
The benchmark for the other readings in the tour
has been highly placed. Gracias

Anonymous said...

hey, eduardo, no matter how small the microphone, one should always open the mouth wider. LOL

--The older Sandra Cisneros, you bitch. Who you calling vieja?

Anne said...

Eduardo, this is kind of freaky -- in one of those photos you look almost exactly like a (much younger, ha) version of my Bolivian grandfather! I did a serious double take.

(Yes, one of my grandfathers was Bolivian. Any revolutionary tendencies I may have, I come by honestly. *grin*)

Glad the reading went well!

Emmy said...

sounds like a great time. nice picture!

i'm so honored that you read one of my poems. thank you, eduardo.

emmy

Robert Vasquez said...

Dear Eduardo,

Thanks for the interesting notations about the reading. It's sounds the four of you and the audience had a terrific time.

And thanks for the photos.

All the best,

Robert

Suzanne said...

You have the best smile. Thanks for the recap. xo