I like to read my work in public, and I strive to make both my poems and prose effective in the air, not just on the page. Conversely, I don't want to limit the pieces to performances but want them to continue to function in solitary rereadings. This may sound like an obvious goal; but I do know of a number of excellent readers whose poems dry out on the page as well as many extraordinary poets who ruin their work by reading it aloud. I'm sure I fidget over this divergence because of the intense ear training I underwent as a child violinist: read, listen, play; read, listen, play. In classical pedagogy, the eye and the ear learn to become partners. One mode of perception does not consistently dominate over the other; rather, as a trained team, they advance a musician's ability to attend to minute variations in pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and phrasing. I don't play the violin much these days, but the ear-eye partnership has become second nature.
Anyway, check out the "Upcoming Events" on this blog. I hope I get a chance to read for at least a few of you this spring and summer. And if there's anything you'd like to hear at one of those readings--any of the Boy Land poems, for instance, or anything else you've heard me read in the past--please let me know.
Dinner tonight: sauteed chicken thighs with vermouth and fresh lovage, arborio rice, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from the store (isn't that a shame?) but decorated with bits of wild greens from the yard.