Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mr. Sensitive

Well, at the end of a week in which an entirely irrational, bitter woman attacked me for defending an old toy (that originally belonged to my mother) she saw a picture of on facebook (and called "creepy," creepy being a word that is entirely over-used these days), I suppose it is appropriate to announce that a non-horror non-crime poem I wrote, "Scenes from a Diner," will appear in the fall edition of a literary journal called The Toucan.  It's put together by some folks in Chicago, which is a good or bad omen (I have, historically, had bad, bad luck in Chicago...)  Also, tonight I will be reading my poetry (including a hell of a poem called "Ed Gein" which is, amazingly, about "Ed Gein") at Black Dog Books in Zionsville, Indiana.  I just thought it funny that after being called a number of unpleasant names, here I am, engaging in the pleasant practice of reading poetry to a group of quiet, dignified literary types.

I will post later about my feelings on what we, as a society, need to do about indiscriminate name-calling that can lead to ruined careers and lives (does a recent exchange at Spinetingler come to mind?).  Luckily, in this case, I flagged the offending post and Facebook had the good sense to agree with me and remove it.


  1. Congrats on the poem acceptance. How did your reading go? And I have no idea what to say about the lady attacking you about your mother's doll. That's just dumb. There's got to be a story in that.

  2. Thanks, Jodi. The reading went well, even though it was an interesting 'well.' The first poem I read was called "Uncle Bill," which is about an uncle of mine who fought in Vietnam. Even though it is, ultimately, a heartbreaking poem, it's not sad on the surface. When I read live, though, I tend to forget to breathe and that causes me to choke up, so it seems like I'm fighting back tears. I explained to the audience that it was a breathing issue and they laughed. I think they thought I was trying to be macho. I have no reason to prove anything to anybody. If I feel like squirting some tears I will! Anyway, there was an editor of a regional poetry journal present and he asked me, right after the reading, if he could publish that poem, so I guess it was a good reading. The crowd was older, mostly sophisticated. I ended with my poem "Ed Gein," which is a doozy of a gruesome bit. The audience gave out a collective gasp at the conclusion of that one.

    The story of the doll will need to be written some day. Sometimes I have to be careful on the Internet. It's easy to get caught up in a childish exchange. I let this person bring me down to her level of maturity and I feel stupid for letting that happen.

  3. Your “Uncle Bill” poem sounds wonderful. Sounds like you won the crowd over and obviously the editor of the regional journal. That must have been thrilling. It’s so you to read an Ed Gein poem after reading about your dear uncle. First you charm the crowds, then you scare their pants off. (Freak). ;-)

  4. I think Machiavelli invented that routine, yes?