I think that a lot of people I respect don't take me particularly seriously. And that it is probably my fault. I trip myself up with my insecurities, my self-consciousness. I sweat through poetry readings and worry too much about what people will think of me. I tend to be an anxious person in front of groups.
I have a strong recollection of being with Charles Bernstein, back in the day. I was nervous and mispronounced a word which I knew perfectly well how to pronounce. He corrected me.
Rather perversely, the next time I saw him, I deliberately mispronounced a word. He corrected me again
These memories are paired in my mind with an anecdote New Zealand editor and poet Tony Green told me many years ago when he stayed with us for a few days at our old house on Marilyn Street (which reminds me--we've been in our current N. Pearl Street residence for 20 years now, the longest amount of time I've lived in the same place).
Anyway, just before Tony stayed with us, he spent time with Charles in NYC. Charles would have still been living on Amsterdam Avenue,easy walking distance from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park. At some point during the visit--they were out somewhere, I don't remember where--Tony wanted to make a call from a phone booth. He asked Charles if he had a "ten cent piece."
Charles responded: "We call them dimes."
I love that story. Charles is a natural teacher. He can't help himself.
I'm way off pace with the Appearances project--a portion of which (15 pages or so) is slated to appear at some point in Lynn Behrendt's and Anne Gorrick's great e-zine Peep-Show. The fever dream that is The Tammy Trilogy sidetracked me. Tammy's still very much on my mind.
Tammy is, in its way, a series of raunchy fairy tales. With many happy endings. It's hopeful, in that way. It's easy to imagine, though, a dystopic version of the book. A version where fantasies become hard and ugly realities. That's something I've been thinking about also.
It might be interesting to write a list poem cataloging the constellation of things I don't want to think about--possibilities I'm fearful of, say. It might wind up being a pretty long poem if I decide to write it.
Had one request for Tammy yesterday. Had another today.
for the one
The profound importance of the mirror scenes in Tammy.