So I read three poems in Dinkytown last night to a small audience at the Bookhouse, an amazing used bookstore on 14th Avenue just down the street from Al's Breakfast, right in the heart of Dinkytown. I was one of five people performing their work from the online journal AlteredScale, which is curated by my friend Jeff Hansen. The featured artist at the event was Maria Damon, a professor at the University of Minnesota who works in a variety of media. I'm a low rent scribe in comparison, but I didn't embarrass myself.
I am an advertising copywriter by trade and so coming up with snappy adman patter isn't especially difficult for me, but there's a discipline involved in being a working poet that is much different than what a blogger faces. You can bluster your way through a blog post, but a poem constructed with bluster won't hold up to scrutiny. It can't, really.
I wrote a lot of poetry during my college years and immediately thereafter, but there's a reason that the word sophomoric exists and a lot of what I wrote in those days qualified for that moniker. A quarter century has passed since those days and I'm in a very different part of my life now and this seems like a good time to summon the muse, or at least make the attempt. The one thing that is different now is that I've learned not to take myself too seriously. There's no point in being a stern-visaged artist, at least the way I see it.