Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Balloons, Stage Fright, Fireworks

I had planned to spend the summer after grad school quietly contemplating my future by the river, but instead it has been hurricane jenny, whirling around and being productive. Since I haven't been able to write much (good) poetry at all, I've been trying to be productive in any other way possible. I have been able to enjoy some sweet leisure though, in particular the week-end of July 4th, I spent half the week-end with the British, and half with the Americans! I'm nothing if not fair. I spent a perfect Saturday at my friend's house in Long Island-- got to swim in a pool, be surrounded by nature, daydream in the grass with an adorable dog named Truffle, sunbathe, eat good food and have great conversations with smart, kind people-- we even napped in the middle of the day! The whole experience made me badly want to one day have a summer home myself. Here I am showing off my summery white dress in their house:

The next day I watched the fireworks on the West Side with my family. It was the most adorable thing in the world to see how excited my mother was over the fireworks, we were late to catch the show and she started running-- she outran me! As the show went on she had a smile plastered on her face and kept cheering and clapping loudly. She talked about how there was absolutely nothing like this in the Philippines, where she grew up.

Last Thursday I co-curated my first ever poetry reading for Opium Magazine. It was held at the Bowery Poetry Club, and I was so delighted at all my darlings who showed up to support the event. It was a great turnout and an incredibly fun experience. I did have to be onstage to assist with the finale, which I was a bit nervous about because I have extreme stage fright, but once I was up there the energy and momentum was thrilling, and reminded me what it was like to be onstage (as a child I was onstage often for choir, band performances, high school plays, gymnastic performances, cheerleading etc.)-- what an absolute rush it is, and how you become a different person when you get up there. This has greatly motivated me to take a small step towards reading my poetry in public-- I'm going to find a place out of town where I can do a reading (I would feel more comfortable not knowing anyone in the crowd). I will have a lousy career as a poet if I can't get over this and start doing readings, so this is an important step for me. For some reason (perhaps to make myself even more anxious) I decided to incorporate balloons into the finale (I have an irrational fear of balloons popping in my face) and spent the first half of the show backstage drawing the faces of French and American poets with a sharpie onto balloons, quietly begging them not to pop in my face.

Anyway, I learned a ton about how to put together a reading by doing this, and am so grateful for having been given the responsibility, and for the woman I co-curated with, she taught me a lot and was so motivating to work with-- a great role model for me. She reminded me of my older sister a lot, which is perhaps why I was so instantly fond of her.

Read about how the event went here.