Aauugghh! I just wrote about self-absorption, and for the past few days, I have been reading little packets of my own poems over and over! Well, it's actually the responsible and generous thing to do, and I know that, but it's making me feel self-absorbed! Did I say, "Aauugghh!"
There are several readings coming up, and I need to gather, practice, and time my work so I don't exceed the time limit! And so I feel prepared and comfortable reading! And know what I'm going to say in the little preparatory remarks!
The first is our Living History poetry reading at the McLean County Museum of History. Seven of us will be reading, the 7 current participants in my Poetry at Babbitt's drop-in workshop at Babbitt's Books. It's an hour-long program, 7:30 to 8:30, and the museum closes at 9:00 p.m., and it is courteous to stick to the publicized time, let people go after an hour of poetry (potty break, etc.), and leave time to chat with poets and each other and exit the museum, and leave time for us to chat and also help clean up! So I've told everyone 3-5 poems, 5-7 minutes, and keep rehearsing my own poems, down to 4 very pertinent and appropriate ones, but one is long and so I keep timing out at 10 minutes. This is annoying! Ultimately, I may cut yet another poem even though it went out on some of the PR!
I am also doing an hour program for the Mornings with the Professors program at Illinois State University on November 6. I'll be talking about inspiration, composition, and revision of particular poems and need to give them a packet of them to look at while I read aloud. So I keep refining the packet--it was a dozen poems, then I added 3, thinking it was too short, so I had 15. Then I read aloud, adding the explanatory material extempore, and it was too long, so I took 3 out, not exactly the same 3....still too long, and now I'm down to ten. I think this is the right number!
Meanwhile Broken Sonnets should be mailed out on Monday, to me and to those who pre-ordered it from Finishing Line Press, and those two readings are coming up in November and December, so I will be rehearsing, and timing, and self-absorbed all over again all too soon!