Chimera Song Mosaic
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
I must stink of celebrity after rubbing elbows, as it were, with famous writers at AWP because a local writer and reporter for the Valley Morning Star (a paper out of Harlingen) contacted me yesterday, my first day back at work, to interview me for an article about poetry. At least, I think that's what it was about; I didn't get much time to talk to him before and right after my classes. He is the founder of Art that Heals, a group that promotes readings and supports essential groups like the Valley AIDS Council. Good stuff! Plus Daniel is very nice and an interesting writer.
My students were very happy to see me. I guess they do actually appreciate me. One class gave me popcorn (so tasty!), and when the first few students of the next class came in, as a way of explaining my greedy stuffing of the palomitas into my mouth, I said, cheekily, "My other class brought me popcorn; what are you going to give me?" What an idiot. I hope I don't get in trouble.
While I was looking around from a good link to Daniel's work (I couldn't find one, but I'll keep looking), I found this chilling news. So sad. Also so scandalous. The Valley is already upset about the death of the Pope, and now this (keep in mind that I am in no way equating these two men).
Anyway, Daniel also told me that I might get to read a poem from my favorite poet (or my favorite poem) at a reading on the 30th. I have already picked Jeff Clark's "DEMONOLOGUE." Now I just have to explain why. How exciting!
I'm also going to get to read, I think like three times, at the very proletariat (read: non-elitist) Austin International Poetry Festival. It's next weekend. I'm quite excited about this, too. I need to get away (read: playful sarcasm). AIPF has been very supportive, and the editor of its anthology, Vicki Goldsberry, very much likes my stuff. (In fact, although Daniel and I have met before, he contacted me because he saw me listed as a Valley poet on the AIPF reading schedule.)
So even though normally I don't get no play (and certainly feel free to complain about that), right now I am getting quite a lot of attention that I am not used to.
Something else: Marisa and I were so sad to miss Cesar Chavez day. Okay, we were awake that particular day, so we didn't exactly miss it per se, but since we were in Canada, we did more or less miss it (at least we missed a fabulous march in McAllen). At AWP in Vancouver, we managed a weak and rather quiet, "Huelga!" This was mostly a private thing, like the dancing we did to Canadian radio, specifically the tide-is-high-and-I'm-moving-on song in our hotel room, and the signing (of Michael Jackson and Madonna essentials) a capella. This was all a precursor to our big night out at the AWP finale dance, where, along with some Montana and St. Petersburg SLS friends, we most assuredly turned this mutha out. More about that later.
Also publicly, we started the applause at the massive Michael Ondaatje / Susan Musgrave reading after Susan reminded everyone that this was the first time ever that AWP had crossed the border (you know, the national one) and that future AWPs were planned for Mexico and Cuba. And Marisa and I started the applause! I'm not kidding; we really did. I so wanted to throw a grita, but my gritas don't always turn out as planned. Later Mar and I decided that a simple "Viva!" would have sufficed fine, but by then it was too late. You can't just throw in a viva! at any moment.
Plus we had just been talking about AWP needing to go to Mexico. Apparently, this won't be for a while since the next four AWPs are already planned, and most of them are going back to places they have already been. But the next one, 2006, will be in Austin, Texas, which is pretty much close to being in Mexico, right? Since language is going to be an issue for the future AWPs in Mexico and Cuba, find out how much of an issue when it hits Austin. Marisa and I have already decided that we are going to rule AWP 2006 (the organizers have not yet been informed of this). I already have the soundtrack ready. Will you come?
Also, in general, more about AWP later. I promise a huge and detailed recap by this weekend. It will be the hugest and most detailed recap of AWP ever. Okay, maybe not, but it will authentically represent my views and expressions. That's all I can say. I can't tell you anything else about that.