I’m tired. We’re all tired. Really, I just felt like drinking a few beers and reading and writing–or even just drinking a few beers. But, I have told myself to go to more readings, to be more present, to experience more writers and to read more myself. As a result, slowly, I am achieving this.
Yesterday (which is still my today), I drove up to Welland for Poetry Takes the Nite, hosted by Taylor Peebles at the Black Sheep Lounge. It is a comfortable venue, though it doesn’t serve alcohol… …which doesn’t matter to everyone… …but I do like to have a beer or two to settle. No matter, really. A good space, a few people, decent food, and a few individuals eager to share their material. I’m not disappointed that I went.
It’s true that I tire of the confessional… …unless it is done masterfully it tends to sound like something written in high school. And it is the default. On the other hand, I appreciate the potential. And the warmth of distant bodies bewildered as myself in words.
Perhaps you think I’m an ass for not being more supportive, or for having an opinion (which I am not fully venting), and perhaps you think I am condescending saying that I appreciate the potential–but keep in mind that when I am at the readings I go to, it is mainly confessional, and within that atmosphere… …I read conceptual work to which people respond with “It was good” at best, but usually nothing at all–and I’m fine with that, or rather, I understand that. After all, we are all more equipped to respond to the confessional than we are the conceptual.
Back to the the reading at the Black Sheep Lounge… The featured reader was Kai Cheng Thom who read from her novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir (Metonymy Press). A great reading. Definitely not a book I would usually pick up, but here it is beside me while I type.
If it is a memoir it is a memoir dressed in the most fabulous clothing, clothing that hugs and accentuates the naked body. I won’t summarize the story, you can read the book yourself. I generally dislike magical realism, but the situations within the novel are so absurd and yes, fierce… …and the deft, explosive reading of it… Well, I’m glad to have heard it, and I am happy to have a copy to dive into.
Title image, the dead mermaid, by Rebecca Hopple