Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good news and free money

The president is giving away money and I had a great reading last night.

I had to slog through a freakish ice/slush/snow storm spritzing my face as I didn't see a single cab the whole width of Manhattan. But the eerie tunneled streets and mist rising from still warm sidewalks made SoHo into something more strange and beautiful than the trendy celebs that glide in and out of its shops. Who knew who anyone was in all that snow? People were the negative spaces, the street lamp and neon lit snow were the show.

As I walked further and further east, I wondered if anyone would show up. Would this Bluestockings bookstore be welcoming and hopefully rather dry?

My shoes took on more water and my purse strap broke but I still pressed on. I added my footprints to a dog's across an otherwise blank median strip and then I was there. The place was PACKED and I didn't know most of them. My husband Jim was there waiting for me (he gave up one of his cherished Tuesday nights of sketching with a live jazz trio, two models, and a bar). Glenn arrived, as did Gordon and Len and Roxanne. The bookstore is a neighborhood place that the neighborhood uses like a big book filled livingroom, with eats and teas. I read last. The fifteen minutes went by terribly fast and slow, the way they do when I'm exhilarated by having a responsive audience, a whole room full of (mostly) strangers laugh, or sigh in sympathy, and acknowledge the stories I shape into poems. I'm more confident when people want to hear where I'm going. I loved Julie Porter's poems about meat, she's the pitmaster of an amateur barbecue team. Thank you Meghan, Word of Mouth, and Bluestockings for giving us a good place to read. I sold three books.

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