Getting back into the groove of things isn’t easy. Especially after taking a long hiatus. A hiatus that I figured would last indefinitely. Last Thursday, I participated in the Latine Heritage Month reading at the library. Yes, that library. The one I used to work at.
And two weeks before that, I participated at an open mic at Moonbeans. Though, if I’m honest, I wasn’t going to partake in that reading (more on that later, possibly another post).
At both readings, I read something I had written with V in mind. (This poem, actually.) As you can see, the poem didn’t age well. Which is a problem with adding pop culture references in your works. (Note: This isn’t always the case, however. There are plenty of beautifully, wittily written poems that drop random references that have aged wonderfully. Well, I’m sure there are, anyway.)
During the Moonbeans reading, I noted what wasn’t working with the poem. Keep in mind, this version is a Frankensteined creation of two poems smashed together. Something I had composed for a Love & Chocolate reading held a few years ago.
For the reading at Sekula, I omitted most of the first point. And noted that my father had passed a few months after writing the piece.
While doing so, I remembered something a creative writing professor told me. How the editing process is never truly done, even after publishing. Writers always think of new ways their works could have been better. And maybe that’s what I’ll do. Sit down and read my “best of” poems and contemplate how to “correct” them.
Because outside of that one poem, I haven’t written poetry in a long while. And outside of these rough-draft, journal-entry type blog posts, I haven’t really written anything either.
Once a fixture—a staple—within the local poetry scene, I bowed out and took a seat. While the conflict that led to the decision was only partially to blame, things had changed by then. I’d become a father, took down a real job, and began focusing my attention on them. Coupled with the fact that my relationship with Jeanna began, poetry readings didn’t seem as important.
But performance is a drug not easily shaken. Standing at the mic, reading to a roomful of strangers or friends, just felt right. Like a missing limb or an old confidante.