December 12th, 2011 / 1:37 pm

ToBS R2: the guy who goes 20 minutes over the suggested reading time vs. AWP

 [Matchup #34 in Tournament of Bookshit]

To locate the source of a power that’s true and absolute, a power that comes from the center of the integrity of the essence of each contestant, one must not go through hate, but love. So hear you this, Guy Who Goes 20 Minutes Over the Suggested Reading Time—GWG20MOTSRT, if I may be so bold—you have made me love you. You’re right, for the first 50 minutes, I wasn’t really even paying attention to you or the carefully coiffured bedhead you clutched as if in pain in between poems, though I did come up with some handy new ways to discreetly check my email on my phone, and looking back now, it’s safe to say I was taking you for granted, GWG20MOTSRT, or GWG20MO, can I call you GWG20MO? But G-MO, a few moments before it’s been suggested by who knows what power (probably that guy sitting in the front row who introduced you not 57 minutes earlier) or what authority (God’s) that you step down or at least cede the floor to a Q&A, I begin, at last, to notice you. I notice your breath, the speed and cadence of your voice, the way you shift from foot to foot, with an increasing and increasingly wild alertness, as if there is some kind of pattern to be discerned there, a pattern that might gesture towards a greater, future happiness. Perhaps two swipes through that hair, now drooping despite its coif, means two more poems; perhaps when you’ve leaned on your right elbow’s jacket patch for the length of three gossamer moons and a grackle, the task of supporting of your own admirably well-kept head will become too much and you’ll be forced to shut the book—GWG20MO, I can’t take my eyes off you. It’s as if we’re the only two people in the room. You’re sweating now and I can see it and it’s so intimate. Do you give even one good God damn for me? Can you hear me shift and sigh and slouch towards you? Is this punishment for those times I very suavely deleted messages from Groupon about 25% off tanning with the heel of my boot while American starlings combed pensively those vast and lyric skies? I am rapt. I have failed to resist you. I have, so very badly, to pee.

As for you, AWP, what you fail to account for with your glitz and your glamour is the great possibility that cinema has rotted my heart from the inside out and left me a cold-hearted bitch. It’s classic abusive relationship psychology. You offer me everything—events that end on time, tickets for free drinks, the answers to questions I’ve always had (how do paraplegic women of the 21st Century write the dialogue of the body via text message?)—and still, at the end of the day, all I want to do is blow off your four-day-long booty call, get drunk, and ride whatever manner of public transportation there is in your great or perhaps slightly-above-average city, all the way to the end of the line, to sit at the feet of someone who’ll ignore me in a place so distant nobody knows your name.

Laura-Eve Engel

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  1. shaun gannon


  2. Rob

      This was awesome.

  3. Laura Carter


  4. Anonymous

  5. Anonymous

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  8. Anonymous