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7:41 p.m. - December 02, 2003
T-minus 9 days, so calm down
Dr. M. from ye olde alma mater confirmed she will attend the poetry reading along with two current students of hers. I feel odd about this.

I'm worried I'll fail but I will not back out. My voice will be well modulated, my pace comfortable, my intonations monitored to allow people to abosrb my poems on their own level rather than have me direct them. This is a marked - radical? - departure from what I know. I'm just worried and earlier this afternoon began comparing the last poetry reading with the one that doesn't happen for more than a week. Looking back, I was thoroughly comforted by the number of people - the (large) room was full and after I stood up at the podium I was moved and just looked out at everybody and wasn't afraid, wasn't intimidated or anxious or even proud like I am when I've had to muster everything to overcome my fears and kick ass. I was comforted and experienced palpable support thick enough that had I fallen over, I would have been buoyed up. Against that experience I'm comparing the upcoming event and everything is darker, less stable, less predictable and controlled. What if there aren't (many) people there? What if they're unimpressed by rank amateurism or find my themes played out or worse, if they compare my old stuff and new, will they think I haven't developed my skill?

In many ways I - my writing - am the same; I like metaphors and privacy, find the thrill of doorbell ditch or hide and go seek with my emotions and issues like sweet and sour soup, one part alluring, one part noisome. And what is the overall effect aside from self-defeating thoughts? Maybe I prepare myself for the worst to blunt a poor turnout, a misread line, a screechy voice.

I don't know what the hell I'm worried about. Everything will be fine; it is me that is roiled. Sure, I write stuff about my childhood like every other aspiring writer and it isn't that I want people to know explicitly or be moved or affected, it's that the only way I can and do reach out to people is via my poetry and if it isn't well received, that is a direct line to me. Once again I want to feel surrounded and cared for, wanted, feel my pulse quicken by close proximity with the Other.


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