Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Failure of the Day: Poetic Perks

Just got an email from Jennifer, who I think is an all-around swell person—she is the person responsible for the fact that I have my very own ISBN, which I may yet get tattooed on my ass.

Her press, manic d, has worked some of its magic to get a guest list set up for this weekend's Lou Read show at the Warfield, and I received an invitation from her to sign me and Chris up. Which is lovely, really. I like Lou Reed a lot.

Digression: Lou Reed is the only person who has ever made me thoroughly star-struck. In 1986, I found myself backstage at the Amnesty International benefit concert in Atlanta. We didn't even have tickets, for chrissakes, and we still managed to get backstage—such is the magic of Youth. And, I think, boobs. Anyway, I did fine saying hello and shaking hands with Sting and Peter Gabriel and such, but when Lou Reed walked past me, I turned to stone. I just wanted to touch his leather jacket, and I was frozen. I couldn't even raise my arm.

But so it occurs to me that there are damn few perks that come from being a poet, but the Lou Reed guest list would have to be one. I'm pretty seriously wracking my brain trying to think of what the others are…I would say "getting to sleep with other poets" but I'm not sure that counts as a perk, really…(It's a step up from stand-up comics, though.) Having David West cook for you definitely counts, but other than that, I'm coming up pretty blank.

Man. I hope Chris wants to go on Sunday if for no other reason than I'm not sure, after hanging out and giving readings for 15 damn years now, that I can wait another 15 years for the next perk to come along.


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