April 4th, 2011 / 9:34 am
Author Spotlight & Events & Random

big-ass crunky green tomato reading notes

Done went 50+ poets in three days Alabama, something. Reading (s) questions/notes:

1. What to do with hands?

1. How long do you think about what you are going to wear?

2. Introductions longer than poems.

44. Risky: reading in southern accent because you are in The South.

11. Poetry readings in bars make the bartenders almost mime-like, hushed ordering, pouring of drinks, a reverent tinkling of glass, silent smiles. Quite lovely.

[Brandi Wells reading at The Green Bar. The can of beer in right corner low is Abe Smith‘s beer. It is a Good People IPA.]

3. POETRY (profound, hushed voice…book in hand) versus “Uh, these are some poems.” (crinkly paper in hand)

3. Read first or read last or read middle or refuse to read?

3. Inside jokes to friends during reading to larger audience as never effective?

3. Flask/no flask?

3. Revelation: I am beginning to prefer undergraduate or other poets who have not read live very often.

3. I honestly thank/congrat one poet and he blows me off. He ‘cut’ me as Hemingway used to say. A poet. It costs him one book sale and some bad word of mouth later at a beer trough. So what? Respect or hater? A tad of both, I suppose. I still dig his poetry.

4. Do you prefer podium or some physical thing to psychologically shield you from audience?

6. Moon, muses, gossamer. Three words possibly enfeebled/faded, or possibly a challenge to prove otherwise?

4. Best intro line I heard since it could be innocuous or an absolute rip-shot across bow or simply authentic or really smart-ass: “Hey ya’ll, I’m not really a poet. I wish I was, I’d be real smart.”

3. Eagerness is interesting.

Tags: , , ,


  1. stephen

      Vive Brandi Wells

  2. deadgod

      3 (the second-to-last).: That’s complicated, being dissed by someone you’re ‘congratulating’ – was the guy fresh off the stage? and nervously deaf to sincerity (or to any calm reaction)? A lot of performers repel diva-like for a period after a show, before they’ve decompressed and can relax and ‘enjoy’ fan attention. Or: the guy’s a talented jerk. (By the way, I think Hemingway got “to cut” (= ‘to snub’) from the English; I think it’s an old public-school expression, wot, jolly good, pip pip, tally ho.)

      4 (the last).: Introducing one’s poems by saying that ‘one isn’t really a poet‘ is dangerously prophetic. “If you were really a ‘poet’, you’d know how to tell me so.” Real modesty is fine; false self-deprecation (“false”? – you stepped up to the mic, clown) – false self-deprecation is finger-painting-monkey-throwing-shit.

  3. Brandi

      When people come up and tell me they liked my reading, I never know how to respond. Do we have a conversation? Do I say thank you? I am too awkward to have conversations on the fly. I think I said, “I really like your arms,” to someone.

  4. Sean

      Oh, I would agree the situation is nuanced. For one thing, we’re talking nonverbals, and my reading of the situation. Yeh, but he cut me. But that’s OK. I’d rather like his words anyway.

  5. Gina Myers

      I can verify, yes, you did say, “I really like your arms” to someone.

  6. Anonymous


  7. Brandi

      seriously we had just been talking about your tattoos looking nice.

  8. Sean

      I really like your arms? Classic.

  9. Cole Anders

      What an attractive photo. Fairy lights and glassware and brick. I mean it, I’d like to be there.

      I love stories about being “cut.” They fascinate me. As does this, which is like a fake cut, or rather, a fake-out ‘hello-feint’ that you’re supposed to know is a cut:

      “I was beginning to learn the exact value of the language, spoken or mute, of aristocratic amiability, an amiabilty that is happy to shed balm upon the sense of inferiority in those persons towards whom it is directed, though not to the point of dispelling that sense of inferiority, for in that case it would no longer have any raison-d’etre. ‘But you are our equal, if not our superior,’ the Guermantes seemed, in all their actions, to be saying; and they said it in the most courteous fashion imaginable, so as to be loved and admired, but not so as to be believed; to tease out the fictitious character of this amiablity was to be what is called well brought up; to suppose that amiability to be real was to lack breeding.”–Proust, Sodom and Gommorah.

      Oh, wait. I quoted the wrong part. Forgive me now for quoting a paraphrase of the scene which I wrote for my Recon.com profile: (I mean, the scene is in Sodom & G, my paraphrase is on Recon, which I guess I mistook for “Recondite.com” or “I am alone.com”):

      A bit later on, Proust’s narrator discovers a way to display his understanding of aristocratic language; at a matinee given by a Duchesse de Montmorency, he sees the Duc de Guermantes smile at him and wave him over. In response, understanding the ostensive invitation to be anything but, the narrator gives a deep, unsmiling bow. They know that he knows, and he knows that they know he knows; and later on, the Guermantes cannot stop praising him for that bow. That elegant renunciation.

  10. christopher.

      This may sound cocky, but I get that a lot. Just ask Roxane, Matt, Tim, Rebekah, &c. &c.

  11. christopher.

      I’ve now read all the recaps of this event, and my belly is warm sausage. It’s so rad to see what the BSU writing program has become in the past few years, though I’m perhaps a good bit envious I’m not still there. I am glad to be able to take part in a small way as an alum and all the psuedo-partnering with Vouched that’s happened in the past few months. World get ready, because BSU is about to break you open and pump your heart good.