Had a great time reading tonight with Rebecca and Susan at the Ugly Mug in Renton, a suburb south of Seattle. A great diverse audience, many of whom participated in the open mic: a secretary from the local high school, a couple church ladies, a black diva named Peaches (accompanied by her BF on drum), a nice transexual with a poem about prison, an angry white guy with a post-9/11 rant, a financial planner reading Bukowski-like poems.
I thought Susan and Rebecca and I read very well. And I actually enjoyed the round-robin format (each of the featured poets reads 2 poems, then a round of one-poem-each for the open mic, the the featureds read 2 poems each, followed by another round of open mic, and so on for about 5 rounds. It was fun to be able to change and rearrange what I was going to read based on the feel of the audience and what the people before me had just read.
Susan read some wonderful poems about her time in Bosnia, and about love and heartbreak. Rebecca read from Radish King and new work from Cadaver Dogs and a devastating new new poem about that 12 year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered on July 4th. I closed with "Twenty Years After His Passing, My Father Appears to Us in Chicago, at Bobby Chinn's Crab & Oyster House, in the Guise of Our Waiter, Ramon" (I know, it is a really long title). I think it went over fairly well.
Thanks to Chris J for having us!