the weirdest reading!

I just got back from a very strange p0etry reading. It was half nicely-dressed wine and cheese Polo Altoans, wearing their best natural fiber sweater sets and looking like they just finished donating to the opera and getting 200 dollar haircuts… you know what I’m talking about… like Bezerkely profs, but much richer. The other half of the audience was stinking drunk old pseudo-beatpoets and this one amazing honkytonk woman with bleach blond crimped hair who kept heckling my friend K. the translatorpoet and heckling the audience for not responding. “Whatareya, in CHURCH!? Are ya DEAD? Wake up!” and then she’d start giggling madly and I’d start giggling and she’d flounce over and high-five me. Oh, god. I’m going to hell. It was so funny.

But first everyone drank all the free wine startlingly fast. And there were flasks. And the food just was inhaled by the drunk old guys. I had like 4 old beatpoets give me their phone number so fast it was like they had superpowers. I didn’t know who any of them were, but they acted like I should have. N3ttelbeck started his reading and there was one sort of half-way acceptable PoloAltoish poem and everyone Hummmm!ed appreciatively with that foul little murmur of polite appreciation… and then all hell broke loose. N3ttlebeck starting rambling endlessly, reading from a huge epic novel of a poem about 2 fucked up sleazebags who were on the road doing every kind of drug on their way to dig up W1lliam Burrroughs’s bones and do some sort of voodoo grigri juju thing with them, and this was cut with weird poetry and rambling memoirs about the pope being shot and photographs of Annie Oakley and the 2 guys’ moms who had like, fucked every poet of the S4nta Cruz poetry scene in the 70s, and then back to weird shit of beating guys up while they suck your (whose?) cock and then beating them even more semi-consensually as they enjoy it and then lots of graphic ass-fucking, and then some more recognizably poetry-poetry about nature and death, and then back to coming all over some random strange honky tonk woman’s face and not being sure if it was the poet-author speaking or one of the sleazy characters. Then more drugs and bus stations and stuff. It kind of didn’t matter what it was about anymore, because the pained expressions and nervous fidgeting of the Polo Alto propriety poets was PRICELESS.

Do you have any idea how much I just enjoyed that and how hard I laughed… Wow… I mean.. some raunchy old hairy guy in a tiedyed t-shirt just made the authors of many a Yellow Tulips poem listen to him… Oh god… I can’t stand it… and they just didn’t get it… they were all aheming and politely smiling and thinking Oh How Awful the Poor Man doesn’t realize he’s gone Over His Time — he read for over an hour. I enjoyed all of it.

My friend K. was good but that was a very hard act to follow. He didnt’ much like being the respectable one, but it couldn’t be helped. The PoloAltoans sank back into their chairs with sighs of relief. “Oh thank God now we have the perfectly Sweet translations of N3ruuda. We are safe.” They weren’t, but they didn’t realize it.

Mercy-Mushya Casseroly notably kissed my ass in one of the most horrid ass-kissing experiences of my life ever. In a way it was vilely gratifying. The vilest parts of me were feeling smug. Because she was SO loudly ass-kissy on me that I think someone must have yelled at her for yelling at me that one time a few months ago. “PLEASE send me something for our little magazine. you are one of the FEW PEOPLE that I BEG to give me stuff. Just any time, any little thing you happen to have lying around, email it to me…” Good god. hahahaha. It was gross. And sort of weird. What does it mean? for a second I wondered if she had some strange change of heart, but then I felt that she actually loathes me to the core for all the reasons I have analyzed before.

Also, someone introduced me to someone else as a “poet, translator, and CRITIC” and then the other person looked a little bit afraid. And critic! That is new!

I had a moment of realizing in strange paralyzing horror how very, very heinous I was in the review that will be published soon in this newspaper that all the p0ets will read, not because the high-falutin prosy blahdeblahdiness of it is embarrassing – I’ve accepted that part of it — but because I suddenly remembered the one paragraph near the end where I went off frothing at the mouth about how much I hate writing workshops and how MFA programs are the suckiest soul-killing evil. Jesus fuck. That will make me popular. Christ. What was I thinking? Way to make about 1 million enemies incredibly fast! Fuck me! Aaaagh! i broke out into a cold sweat.

G.H.’s nice brother gave me a ride home and I liked talking with him. He just interviewed S.K and will send me the tape. He read my books I guess and was very friendly! He seemed just incredibly nice and apparently is the co-organizer of some kind of nifty-sounding Godzillla film festival in the Caastro.

Pastiche’s wife was there about a million months pregnant. I love her accent and how she says things. “the head is enGAged. I am not SCARED, of the LABOR, as it is just, an EVENT. It is the THOUGHT, of brinkingk another human beingk into, this WORLD, at this current TIME.” She talks sort of snootily with her nose in the air. I totally love her. “We made my FATHER who has never been any-wherrrrre, he is not a world TRAVeller, take his picture, outside of a porno place, in North Beach. A humble man, with a belly like this, and a HAT, and verrry emBARRAssed, standing there….”

Netttlebeck’s old books from the 70s are so, so, so cool all full of cross-outs and weird simulteneity of different poems at once on the page.

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3 Responses to “the weirdest reading!”

  1. whump

    Critic! Bwahahahhahahaha!
    You are now a force of nature to be feared by other poets!
    Bow before Giblets/Badger, booooooooooooow!

  2. Prentiss Riddle

    Were those real old beat poets or faux old beat poets who missed it all by a decade or two? Or is beat a stylistic choice and there are young beat poets as well?
    These posts remind me of the series that my artist friend keeps threatening to paint about the Austin art opening scene. He says people will recognize themselves and never speak to him again.

  3. badgerbag

    Sort of faux, but really their own continuation of it, I think. 70s S4nta Cruz was its own thing, but they get to be all like, “I touched Burr0ughs! I sucked Ginzy! We were stoned all the time!” about it.

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