Saturday, June 4, 2005


I asked a local poet for some help as far as finding readings and open mics.
What a wake up call. He pointed some out to me - after telling me that basically, I'm an amateur, I'd never sell a single book, though I might get some good advice from a kindly poet who wanted to offer me some.
He said "There is a much higher level of writing already in place around here." As if A.) I totally suck and B.) I'm trying to take over the Charlotte poetry scene. I just want to participate.

OK. The truth is, he's right. I am a beginner. I'm completely clueless to the local scene. I have no idea what's "popular" around here. I'm trying to accept his opinion for what it is, an objective opinion of my work, which I don't get often. And a bit of inside advice from someone who is experienced in my local scene - a decent gauge of what the overall crowd reaction may be. And I'm also trying to remind myself that his opinion is only 1 opinion, and that poetry is subjective, so I'm sure there will be some who DO enjoy my poetry.

And (yes people I'm trying to justify my existence) he's a he, and the poetry in this chap is seriously more effective for the female reader. I wonder if the local poets and poetry fans are more male or female? Most likely female, right? I mean... Right?

I am so stressed out about this damn chapbook! It's supposed to be an accomplishment, something that should make me feel better about myself, but damn it, that email exchange sure took the wind right out of me.

And all I know to do is go to a reading, listen, check out the crowd and gauge their reaction firsthand. Maybe get on stage and humiliate myself, but if I don't I'll never know right? I don't want to live with this great big huge regret, based on the opinion of one person, do I?

Christ I hope he isn't at my first open mic reading.


  1. I think the man's an idiot and should learn to think before he speaks.

  2. E, many people have different ideas on poetry, and what is good as poetry. He doesn't dig what you do, that is fine. Others do. OR, maybe he is trying to set your sites low so that when you only sell a few copies, you won't be bummed out...

  3. I know D. Like I said, trying to keep it in perspective, glean the useful, decide what is or isn['t of use - like a good poetry crit.

    Lol V... easy girl. He made a good point, I AM a beginner hon. And besides, he probably really thought he was helping. I don't think his intentions were anything but good

  4. and yep, the first step is to just sit in -- bring a selection of poems, and if you get inspired to read one -- then go for it. sometimes it takes someone reading something they wrote to spark you to want to read something you wrote either as comparison, contrast or whatever. also you have to decide whether or not you want someone you know there. i know that my last reading was kinda hard because there were people I knew in the audience BUT it wasn't a 'real' reading -- it was a church-type group. if I were to go to the Arts Alliance, I would either go by myself or with someone I don't know well.

    but hey, i'll go with ya if you want at some point, I could even bring pom poms. :D

  5. You know L, you're probably right. I'll probably feel silliest in front of Scotty. Mostly cuz I know him, and one night at the dinner table he'll burst into a heart felt rendition of my recitation... or at the grocery store, in the middle of wild sex - or any other time that might make me blush :)

  6. E, I can't ditch the feeling that this guy was being just plain uncooperative. I mean, if he wants to be "honest" with you, that is one thing, but being downright discouraging is another. At least in my opinion, I think it's shitty of any artist -- be they a poet, painter, singer -- to do what he did. And yes, his is only ONE opinion. Don't let him get your panties in a bunch. I'm gonna quote the late great Bob Marley when I tell you, "You can please some people sometimes, but you can't please all dee people all dee time." Find YOUR audience. Clearly, he isn't it.

    I have spoken.


  7. in the middle of sex???? yipes.

  8. haha yeah L, only because we both agree that the best sex we've ever shared has been sex during which we had fun and laughed... ask me sometime about coolwhip, it's a new spin on an old story ;)

    Maybe he was being a jackass, regardless, my job is to ingest it, and do with it what I can. Everyone can teach you something, if you listen with the right tone ;)

    *smooch y'all!*

  9. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Some poetry is great for readings and then other poetry is better for the page. I've heard that poetry written in iambic meter is better for poetry readings. Anyway, I've attended many readings and many writer's conferences and bless those poets who can get up there and read their stuff, because the main reaction will be blank stares. : )
    And polite applause. Millard.

  10. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Oh, I forgot. Erin, if you have a rain stick and can dance around and stuff, people like that. : )

  11. lmao Doug suggested I read naked, perhaps the dancing and the rains stick would add to the naked effect :P How are you Millard?

  12. Those who have been defeated themselves are the ones who'll run down everyone else. It's human nature though it does suck.

  13. Well, you're right there, a universal truth I suppose.

  14. Anonymous11:18 PM

    I have been a member of the online poetry community for a while and have been fairly active. While I enjoy writing poetry a lot, I have started to delve into the poetic reading community. So I would like to give the members of various poetry forums the oppurtunity to broadcast their poetic readings through Outspoken. This will give everyone a chance to be heard by the internet community. Just browse the Outspoken website for more information at