I read last night for Spare Room.

It was my farewell reading, before I move to Toronto in a little over a week, and the house was packed. There were even a few people I didn't know, who I should have said hi to, but I had too many people to say goodbye to -- I wasn't up to meeting new people, I guess.

Sarah Mangold read first. I was filled with excitement and caffeine and it took me longer than it should have to get into the logic of her poems, which, once I clued in, seemed clever, dark, and sly, and I wondered if we should all have laughed more than we did.

David introduced me with an alphabetized (and selected) list of the subject lines to emails that I've sent him over the years, which did a terrifying job of painting me as a needy and self-promoting person far too likely to bust out with a They Might Be Giants lyric when I can't think of anything else to say. Well, OK, I guess it caught more nuance than that.

And then I read: "Gravity", "The alphabet: An introduction", "These dreamer types", "Vegetables", a long and as-yet-untitled recipe-poem, "The localized alphabet", and "Illegal chain letters". I also left instructions for people to spend the next year working on pieces based on "360 rhythms for mARK oWEns", so next summer we'll get to see how that turns out.

It went well, as far as I can tell. I was happy. Well, I was a mix of many emotions, but it included happy.

Thanks to everyone who came. You will all be missed. Next year in Portland!



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