I am attending a poetry event.

Not unlike those I have attended, and organized in the past, though this one is devoted to the book, and not the word: all around are all manner of pamphlets, magazines, periodicals and books, some made by the poets themselves--what better trade for a poet in the past, both far and recent, to be printer and bookmaker--some vanity press, some published. The poets themselves are here as well.

I am not overly enthousiastic about my presence here, and am content to receive what work comes into my hands. I find in my hands a single sheet, paper or card, 8 1/2 by 11. On it is an image I know: the contract to be a counselor at a residential camp for children, at which I was also a counselor. Not an assuming pamphlet, it is obviously a self-produced work and not perfect.

The poem I know, however, is good--as was mine, produced in the same way, using the contract as the design for the cover.

I see other publications; they remind of many I still have, but unknown to the participants at this event. My collection is 25 years old. I have not, either in my dreams, or my life, attended such events as this, in all that time.

There is the work of one poet here whose work never came into my hands, because it--published all--was scooped up as the latest thing. I know I do not like her work. I know it is as assuming as its professionallly published trappings. My years call upon me to perform a role I never would have before: to shake the shit out of this woman. I do.

It is accepted. This is my part of my role, being older.

The event is over; people are departing. I catch up to the young man who wrote the camp poem whose pamphlet he made--as a camp counselor he must be in his early 20's. As I catch up to him, I know a great sadness, for he says he is about to give up writing, he has no talent, or ability--not like the lionized one. I am crying, though no one sees this, for I see myself in this young man. I beg him to continue; tell him that poetry needs him.

We part, and walk in opposite directions. As I walk, I see a youg woman. I know instantly she is unhappy. I go up to her, and put my arm around her. This is also accepted as part of my age.

As we walk it is clear she is disconsolate. She recounts a litany of her achievements, good poems, what she has given to people and poetry, and received nothing--unlike the one I shook the shit out of.

From the moment I saw this young, beautiful woman, I also knew a great sadness. My age calls upon me to provide solace. And there is another role I must fulfill.

Never before in my dreams have I felt the calling to be or do anything, certainly not the roles I performed here. Nor in my life did I ever think I could be anything like this, because I could never imagine it, or until today, even dream it.

p / n

  • In the woods around my father's house, I helped gather clothes hangers. They were a valuable and rare commodity and we were all hurrying. The girl said not to worry, she'd be writing a book while in the hospital. I encouraged her, and acted happy to hear it, but I knew it would be crap.

    The older woman, picking through the weeds and sticks, saw the article and read it. She asked what I had meant by "he was a terrible person but there was one thing I liked." She wanted to know the one thing. I told her I had enjoyed the way he lied to me. She said "Oh. One would think you'd have put it the other way round - 'though I suppose there were a few good things about him, he was a hateful liar.'   I thought about it and said "Yes. You would think that."

  • She was yelling through the transmission, she wanted to know whether I was using the handheld or the stationary. I lied but she found me out and I started yelling too. "I can't get a decent shot with the handheld, how do you expect me to film myself with a camera I'm holding?" To infuriate her I left the camera running, pointed at a gray wall of corrugated aluminum.
  • I drove for hours trying to get to Paula's house and couldn't figure out what wrong turn I must have taken. I ended up dead-ending in a gravel lot by a chicken feed factory. Paula was talking to me though she was not there. I turned around and drove and drove some more but everything was turned around and I would never get un-lost.
I faintly remember being in some field with my middle-school classmates... we had killed the supervisor and now were on our own. I board some sort of monorail... blank ...
I found myself driving to a mideaval reenactment sponsored by my city. My mother was in the car also, complaining about not being able to find a parking spot. Finally I did find one, in the parking lot rented out to my dad's company. We seperated, and I went to see some tournaments, meeting people from far back. I ran into a combination of my ex girlfriend's sister and a girl whom I had a crush on years ago; she flirted with me and I kissed her briefly. While waiting on my mother, I go into a side room that has some Mobile water to taste... I complain about how dirty it is, and ask what kind of filtering the city uses. The lady insists that Mobile Bay is clean, I insult her and leave. She turns obese. I run, and climb over buildings to get back to the car...

my mother walks into my room and wakes me up.

standing out on some kind of platform in the middle of a lake but I'm not 100% sure it's a lake it might be giant pupil of a monkey that's exponentially larger than the Earth, as the lake is very large, and expands to the horizon.

I Turn Around and there's a trail in the water eye thing that leads up into a building that looks to be the home of a greek god or something. I go inside and black out.

I wake up in a cold sweat it's 3:19am (I always remember times and tho I'm always 10 minutes late I'm at least consistantly late).

I go back to sleep trying to return to this room that's on a rock outcrop, perhaps a peice of lint in the giant eye. It's no use, I start to dream about a time when I was younger than I am now. All I can recall is cotton candy and somthing green I think it's a tree or maybe a wall with trees drawn on. There's a dog I dont know. I'm in a park in the bottom of a valley of grass at a SCA event.

Now that I am awake (really) I know this place. It's the time i got tied to a tree when I was about 5. I was chasing the king (or whatever) of Rolling Thunder's daughter with a stick. All I can say is oops.

Now for a joke I heard lastnight before i fell asleep:
What's brown and sticky?
. (read this backwards) kcitS A


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