I had a pretty good weekend. Friday night I did a reading with a bunch of good people and had a really nice time. Lots of good feeling and many glasses of free wine. A poet friend of mine who was there told me that she doesn't like the readings that take place in bars. Too many drunk people there who don't give a shit about poetry and just want to be entertained, she says. Me, I'm okay with that. If you can't entertain the drunks, get off the stage. All art is entertainment. If you're up there on a stage in front of people you should be doing something to make them laugh, or cry or feel like they've been kicked in the gut..something. Reading poetry is not unlike juggling or telling jokes while wearing a clown nose. I don't know. I wish more of my readings were in bars. It's nice when I don't have to sneak my booze in. Hell, I don't like reading or listening to poetry when sober myself. But I can understand how it's not every reader's ideal situation. A bookstore that supplies wine is a happy medium. (You rock, Bird & Beckett!)
Though perhaps my ideal poetry reading would be in a crowded bar with the audience sufficiently liquored up, and at the back of the room would be a big gong, and Jaimee Farr, Rip Taylor and Jaye P. Morgan will all be there, waiting.
And my abnormally(for me) social weekend continued on into Saturday. Met a bunch of friends in Dolores park to celebrate a friend's (un)birthday. It was a wonderful day, much sun and blue sky. More wine and good people. It's good to be reminded that there are actually people I call my friends whose occasional company I truly enjoy. Met some good new people as well. I sometimes forget that such things can happen.
In spite of my general distaste for large crowds, I must confess to a love of Delores park on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Just a sea of people chilling out as far as the eye can see. Drinking, smoking, eating. Kids. Dogs. Hippies on giant unicycles. People wandering around selling everything from tamales to cotton candy to snack items laced with various illegal substances. And the assholes and the cops always seem to stay away, as if there were some magic circle of protection around the area. It's always just a nice vibe.
And I had a moment, when I was opening a second bottle of wine and looking out upon the sea of humanity sprawled across the park, and I was filled with a pure and simple little feeling of joy. I was just thinking, you know, here I am in San Francisco on a lovely day drinking wine with people I like, discussing the finer points of comic books, videogames, Dostoyevski and Werner Herzog, among other things. Who would have imagined life could be so good? It's important to understand these moments from time to time and appreciate them for what they are.
Because life will become shitty again before you know it. But the darkness doesn't cancel out the light. The beautiful moments are there, etched into the fabric of the universe, and the fuckers can't take them away from us. Ever.