There were quite a few people there for the reading, and quite a few more for dinner. I read three poems. I love those three poems. But the reaction to all three blew me away! People were so complimenting I didn't know what to do. I never take compliments well, but this was - wow! I was stunned. People I respect liked my poems - a lot. I was there with my girlfriend and somebody I didn't know asked me for a date. I think my favorite part was vT's reading. He read his tango poem and let me tell you, that is the poem I have been waiting to read my whole life. That is poetry. I wish I would've written that poem. He prefaced it by saying, "When Amanda tells you to do something, you do it," which was my favorite quote of the evening. And then Amanda got up and read this erotic tennis poem that blew me away. She called me three weeks ago to read it to me, and when she finished, I felt like I had just had phone sex. It is that good. My girlfriend had not heard it before and she turned to me after it was done and said, "I'm turned on!" Considering how much sleep we architect addicts haven't been getting, that is saying a hell of a lot. R read three short pieces that were awesome, he really progressed well. B read a poem I hadn't heard before that I absolutely loved, and she also read the trochaic poem about, among other things, a Jew who falls in love with a guy who has a swastika tattoed on his arm, and it ends,
"bought a pack of shotgun shells and ate it fucking whole."
J spoke softly but what I heard was very universal. He promised himself that all semester he would write about his latest long-term trip, and he has really gone from making the same poem over and over again to examining the different facets of his trip - and his poems are much stronger for it. The female J read a poem about her father that floored me. She has such control, so much precision, that when she does break out at the end, oh man does she sing. W's rhythm was, as always, awesome. He read a poem he started this morning that opens beautifully. The title is "My Dreams Can Kick Your Dreams' Asses". And then, at the end, JP read one of her poems, called "Dolphins", that was so cultivated, so complete, and breathtaking. I am sad this class is now over, but that was a good end.