PARSE party was fun, once I got past the whole "bleeding out the eyes with stress" thing. People do this all the time, so I guess it's all about what you can get used to. Chad and I learned a huge amount from the experience (give ourselves more lead time, don't freak out and almost throw down just before the show, alert the magazines) and that's a great thing. Everyone seemed to have a good time, including the poets, and we sold a bunch of books and didn't lose our shirts. So that's good. I wanted to especially shout out Raymond Daniel Medina musical madman and grounding force. Without him, all would have been silence.
Incidentally, it just occurred to me: Chad and Scot? Our names are Chad and Scot? How white can we actually get? I feel like we should be wearing pink Izod shirts with upturned collars and speaking through clenched jaws like Thurston Howell III on our yacht.
Speaking of being an over-privileged white guy (HA!), I saw Amiri Baraka last night at 13. Great speaker, and quite inspiring. I really enjoyed his work, and I barely flinched when, during one of his more strident pieces he described those who work evil as being "uglier than white people." NICE! After the final piece (the same piece, I believe, that got the post of NJ poet Laureate eliminated), which asked who was basically the fountain of all evil in the world, my friend Jai leaned over, rubbed my back sympathetically, and said, "It isn't you!" I laughed heartily.
It's like the fact that my dad (and Grandfather) are both 32nd degree Masons. I mean, I don't want to be a whiner, but if I am so all-powerful, I'd think that I would be getting paid more. I don't know, I'm just saying.
I managed to get a copy of PARSE into both Martin Espada's and Amiri Baraka's hands. Amiri's words were, "This is a good looking book." Very happy about that. Hope they like the insides as much.
Finally, here's an amazing poem I found this morning on Slate.com called In The Bulrushes. Check it out.