Each fall and spring I have had the honor and pleasure of presenting my work to a small gathering of colleagues at the Sacramento State Library Galleria during their Collective Reading Series. Tomorrow I have that pleasure once again, but since I haven’t been writing creatively much at all lately (just some jots, some observations and skeletal ideas), it is more difficult for me to select what to read.
I have already presented many of what I consider to be my most audience-worthy pieces~ those with a scent: a bit of humor, sex, irreverence. I have presented quite a few of my shortest pieces because they are almost like prose-poetry and as such come across easily. Lots of breathing is possible in the delivery.
I have been reading Lydia Davis’s The End of the Story, a novel where the reader hears such a strong voice throughout it is like being in someone else’s dream. I considered reading passages from that, much like my colleague Jordan Reynolds reads from his favorite poets whenever he stands at the CRS podium. These poems always dovetail so nicely, always complement his so well. But I dismissed the idea for me, fearing that anything I read of my own after Lydia would either sound like mimicry or vanity.
So I went through my collection, Watching: The Impressions of Impropriety, to find something that I haven’t yet read to an audience. A piece or two that represents what I can do when I set pen to paper (or hands to keys). I settled on the title piece, “watching” which might be explained as abstract, and a more narrative-story that I know I’ve never read aloud, “Stephanie in Beige Kimono,” which was inspired by a piece of artwork by that name.
Now I’ve got to practice, make my inflection notes on the page. And perhaps I’ll see you there tomorrow at noon.