Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The reading went off without a hitch...well without a major hitch. Couple of stumbles (primarily due to lighting and my need for a new spec. prescription.) I didn't read anything too dirty (the bath house and sodomy sonnets stayed at home) but the crowd responded well overall. It helped focus me on some weak points in poems and showed me that some things work better than I've thought. There's some talk of a return engagement in the fall when college kids are in town.

The organizer wants to mix sets of live music with sets of live poetry primarily to move audience members in and out of their comfort zones. I think this is a grand idea--it's something I really believe in aesthetically. I hope this takes off. There are a number of poets in the area, but not a lot of activity where we can go out and read and support one another--a series like this could really strengthen the community, especially since we're a disparate bunch of writers who seem to work solitarily.


I was cruised by a man on a bicycle today while straightening and tending trees at work. Very creepy honestly. He stops and makes small talk, asking me about the particular tree I'm working on (a weeping pussy willow), how it was developed etc etc. I'm only halfway paying attention, trying to be polite but not exactly encouraging further convo. while trying to figure out angles and things to stake the trees upright so they don't interfere with drivers' sight lines, turning out of the parking lot into traffic.

He compliments the current owners of the property on their efforts, the quality of the restaurant, etc etc. Then he starts talking at length about lacking a "dining companion" and about how uncomfortable it is to go places (movies, restaurants) alone. He seemed oblivious to how uncomfortable his entire line of patter was. It was more than a little interesting to notice how he'd move in and out of conversational modes, trying to feel me out, being a little coarse one minute, then showing varying levels of sophistication, trying to find the right note to draw me in. Even if I wasn't dating somebody I wouldn't have been interested...totally not my type. Like I said, creepy and a little sad.


The transplanted butterfly weed is going like gangbusters--no drooping or anything. I now know the trick for transplanting. It's too bad there was only the single clump in the meadow.
Everything else seems to be resisting the insane heat and doing well. The tomatoes are popping out tiny green babies. It seems a bit early to me, but this growing season has been awfully strange.


Keith Woodruff said...

R.J. I am happy to hear the reading was virtually hitchless - and by the way, where did your poem find a home?

RJGibson said...

Keith--Thanks. The poem is slated to appear in Knockout Issue 2, which according to my contract is set to appear April of 08.

Christopher Hennessy said...

Hi! I noticed you're in WV. Do you happen to know a poet named John McKernan? I studied with him at Marshall.

anything but poetry said...

But who will love the "creepy" and the "a little sad?" :-)

RJGibson said...

Who are you and what have you done with Aaron?