Wednesday night I go to an open mic in Davis square last night with Sue Red at Starbucks, of all places. I finally get to use my employee discount.
It's mostly music, mostly accoustic folky stuff, and Red and I are the only two people reading poetry. We go up together and read while people talk and glasses clack and milk steams. I'm used now to readings where people at least pretend to listen to you, but here I get the impression that no one cares. Though I've been trying for the past year to read more slowly, my natural instinct here is to speed up, read and get my words out as quickly as possible so people don't get bored. I race through my two poems, then Red reads and we sit down.
Afterward two people tell me they liked my poems, but wish I'd read them slower.
I meet Red's friend Brian, who is supercool and a member of What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?, and we discover mutual musical tastes. We talk of Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, drag queens, and The Milky Way Lounge. He agrees that Boys for Pele is Tori's Greatest Album Ever, which makes him a very wise man, and he was once spit on by Patti Smith.
The open mic degenerates at around 10:30, and we decide to call it a night. I ride the subway home talking to a friend in LA, where it's 90 degrees and people read scripts instead of poetry.