Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Ugly Mug at the Ugly Mug

As I've shamelessly plugged on my blogs for a few weeks now (and what else are blogs for?), I was the featured poet at Two Idiots Peddling Poetry last Wednesday, December 16, at the Ugly Mug in Orange, California. As I've mentioned before, I've been an avid attendee and frequent participant in their open readings for a little over a year now, so I was honored that they'd ask me to feature -- and ecstatic when the host, Ben, decided to dub the night "Two Geeks Peddling Poetry." Both Ben and Steve (the idiots, but hardly) are comic book fanboys like me, so they were happy to pick my scheduled feature night to experiment with the geeky format. Mission accomplished.

To celebrate the "Geek Extravaganza," Ben gave open readers an obscure geek reference to quote before sharing their poetry, and some attendees were kind enough to donate superhero action figures for a toy drive that benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fullerton. Many of my friends and co-workers attended, as well, which was initially intimidating, as I knew a crash-and-burn failure behind the mic would be something they'd never let me forget, but in the end it helped me be myself, rather than the pretentious young poet I could easily become with a stage and fifteen minutes of local fame. I was most grateful for the chance to read a poem about -- and essentially to -- my girlfriend, in attendance all the way from Arizona! It was a national affair!

I read poems from my 2009 Poetry Zine series, which concludes this month with nine out of an initially conceived twelve tiny volumes (one for every month, but I combined the summer and holiday months) and a few other "bonus tracks." Indeed, as an open mic and karaoke enthusiast, an open mic poetry gig is the closest I've come to having an "original gig," complete with "set list" and even "groupies." It was both an exciting and humbling experience, and in the end I actually made money from pimping my creative efforts -- something every artist dreams of. I've considered 2009 my most productive year creatively, from the poetry to Karaoke Comics to the other KaraokeFanboy Press stuff I've self-published, so this was a great way to wrap it up and anticipate a hopefully equally inspired 2010. Who knows what a change in scenery might offer . . . but more on that later.

In the meantime, my sincere thanks to everyone that checked out my ugly mug at the ugly mug, and here's "The Difference," the poem that concluded my set and which is whole-heartedly dedicated to my girlfriend. It's wintry, to boot -- just in time for the holidays!

The Difference

The falling snow is a silent symphony
of endless possibility,
each unique flake a crystalline doorway into
a parallel world.
If I could shrink to their size,
I could walk through their icy thresholds
and behold different you’s and me’s:
like wildly successful corporate you,
and drunk and homeless me.
Country music fan you,
jailed political activist me.
Crazy cat lady you,
underground street fighter me.
Religious cult leader you,
crazy cat lady me.
Playboy bunny you.
Eunuch me.

My every instinct to ruin this moment
with what-ifs and where-we-could-be’s
is hushed by the sound of these worlds
colliding outside the window,
little crescendo cymbals crashing, playing,
and laying the groundwork for this world.
Now the only one that really exists.

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