Hello, Failure

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

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Failure of the Day: Obligation

So, remember 1994? Yeah, me too. It sucked. I was fat, crippled, deeply impoverished, and very, very moody. I was also writing my head off, though, and some of those poems were pretty good.

And what do you know, an anthology just came out to commemorate those times. It’s called New Underground Writing or something like that, and yes, it is in fact so NEW that one of the book’s editors has been dead since the mid-90s (I would say that it’s so underground that one of the editors is dead but that would be tasteless), and it’s got poems of mine that are so old that there’s one even I don’t have a copy of anymore.

The book does include some awfully good writers though, and nice big samplings of each one, and I recall that when the weird guy who I had never met called me in the middle of the night to solicit my poems for it, I was pleased once I figured out that he wasn’t stalking me.

Now there’s a reading for it at a bookstore in (GlenGarry) Glen Park called Bird & Beckett this Saturday at 7 PM. I’ve never been to that store or even, I don’t think, to Glen Park so it will be an adventure. I wasn’t going to go…but then one of the still-living editors called me at my house to invite me, as opposed to the usual passive aggressive tactics, so it seemed like they must be serious about wanting me to show up. And then I remembered that that very same still-living editor had nominated me for a pushcart prize some years ago, and I still kinda owe her for that, so I’m going. If nothing else, it will be a reunion of a bunch of people who remember ourselves as being much cooler than we were. And what could be more fun than that? So if you miss the days when you could go to a poetry reading and hear me read tight little stanzas about brain tumors and fucking, come on down!


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