The Baby Poet with the Purple Notebook

The month of April is flying by, so I suppose I should do my annual Poetry Month blog. In the past, I have shared my poetry, I have shared the poems of my friends, I have written about poets that I like, and about my feelings towards the craft itself. Today I will write about when I was a brand new poet, with my purple notebook.

I fell in love with poetry when I was 14, sitting in Mrs. Halm’s Freshman English classroom. She had us write a poem of any kind, and I penned several lines about the changes I was going through having left Elementary School and starting High School. She told me it was great, she gave me an A, and I hung it in my locker for the rest of the year. Sometime after that, I acquired my purple notebook.

My purple notebook was more important to me then any other book or folder in my backpack. Sure, I’d forget my math notes, but I would never forget my purple notebook. It was full of my poems, and quotes I had heard that I loved, and versus from other poets that resonated with me. Also during my Freshman year, Mrs. Halm asked me to contribute something to the school literary magazine- which now that I think about it, we only did when I was a Freshman, and I really would have liked that as a Senior. But I digress…

Anyway, she asked me to write a short story, so I did, and a lot of girls at school complimented me on it. It was the first time I received real recognition for writing from my peers, because it’s not like any of my grade school chums actually read the literary magazine that I contributed to back then. Plus, that was all teacher-guided poetry- not anything from my heart. So sometime in my Junior year, friends started inquiring what I was writing in my purple notebook. They had assumed it was a sort of diary, and when I said it was full of quotes and poems, they were surprised. I had started sharing some of my poems with my friends, and they all liked them. Then came my Senior year, and everyone was scrambling to find quotes for their Senior yearbook section.

I had one friend named Beth, and I remember sitting in class with her as she asked if she could borrow my book to look for a quote. She read much of it, and the compliments she gave me about my writing have stuck with me some 20 odd years later. We were not good friends; good acquaintances, perhaps- but I have not seen her since graduation. Still, I have never forgotten her due to her reaction to my writing. In fact, when I wrote my novella, I had the events of the book take place on her birthday, as a small homage to someone who bolstered my spirits once.

Shortly after this experience, I gained the confidence to share my work with a broader community- at which point I found the now defunct I mean, it’s not really dead, you can go there, it’s active- but it is not the site that I used 20 years ago. On that site, I was able to submit poetry online. At the end of my Senior year, quite literally the day after the end of classes, I got a letter in the mail saying that one of my poems would be included in an anthology. I’m pretty sure it was one of those things where they pick a bunch of poems and then try and get you to buy the anthology, but it was a big deal for me at the time, if only from a self-esteem point of view.

Fast forward through college, where I met others who enjoyed my writing, not just friends- professors, too. I received an A for a play I wrote for fun and submitted as my final English project. I was told to submit my poetry to the literary magazine, though I never got around to it. I received A’s on every monologue I wrote for theater class. I received A’s on every paper I wrote, in fact. I aced every essay portion of every test except for French. And all the while, I kept scrawling in my little purple notebook. When Mark and I met when we were 20, I remember reading him a couple of poems. He didn’t know a poem from a hole in the wall, but he told me it was more beautiful than the things he’d read in school, and it made me start to love him a little. To this day, my husband has me read him everything I write- the only things he hasn’t heard are the books, because I just don’t have the time to read those aloud. Reading itself is not easy for him, but he loves the words I put together.

Around the time that Mark and I broke up back in 2003, my purple notebook got filled finally,, and then packed away in a suitcase in the back of my closet with the others. “The others” are all the journals I kept from the age of 14 onward. I journaled constantly, as it was my main coping mechanism through my teens and 20s, but then one fateful day in 2007, I had a little bit of a meltdown. I dragged that suitcase down from the shelf in the closet, and I destroyed 15 notebooks. Most were journals, one was a dream diary, one or two were full of poems. Only one survived death- my purple notebook. I could not bear myself to get rid of it, because while it was a symbol of pain like the others, it’s greatness far outweighed it’s sorrow. I have a huge Tupperware container filled with special items from my life, and I put it in that box, tucked safely away. I could not say goodbye to that purple notebook- that would be too much. That would be too final.

You know, if you are subscriber to my Patreon, I urge you to check in tomorrow. I intend to post a poem from that notebook- something I wrote when I was only 16, and the first poem that I truly shared with my mother. I performed it for her and my Aunt Ka, and they were blown away. My mother explained that she didn’t know I could write like that, which is saying something because she thought I was the best writer in the world since I was about 6 years old. I just have to dig up the notebook and transcribe it, which will happen sometime in the afternoon.

I suppose I should take this opportunity to hype my Patreon? It’s $5 a month, and you get a weekly update from me- always new stuff that you can’t get anywhere else. I know I need to put some more effort into it, and if I really think about it I should be moving half the blog over there and charging folks, but somehow that still makes me feel grimy inside. So instead I offer you the latest in my writing world, available only on Patreon. I am considering adding a $1 tier as well, where I perhaps share two items a month or so, but that also means I have to ramp up the offerings for my $5 a month patrons. See, now I’m just thinking out loud…just check out my Patreon, and consider joining up if you really love my stuff. Here is a link.

Anyway, that is the tale of my purple notebook, that traveled with me for about 10 years and kept me sane during that time. That was my Xanax before I had Xanax. So happy Poetry Month, and happy Tuesday. I hope your words come together for you today.  


Procrastination and Anxiety

Why does my anxiety build up in my head and creates obstacles for me? This is a question I am pondering this morning, as I consider whether or not I wish to read poetry tomorrow night.

On Sunday, I awoke nervous. Mostly, it was because of the stress I was building up in my head. I had to work in the morning, which is usually pretty easy on Sundays, but it was stressful because I knew as soon as I left I had to go home and do my taxes. Yes, I am damn near 40 years old, but I have only ever done my taxes by myself twice. My father always handled them in the past, as he has a degree in accounting and is a computer whiz. But then, he retired from his job, and thus retired from doing mine and my sister’s taxes.

We discovered the Cashapp filer, so I used that this past year and again this year. It really was quite simple, especially since I could upload our W-2s, and then just double check the information. Also it auto-filled all of my personal information from last year- I just had to change my address. The state taxes I have always found confusing, and I am 99% sure I got it all right, but I think we all have that one wriggling thought in our brains that makes us worry that we put a decimal in the wrong place or left out a tax credit. I don’t know. Everything seemed to go fine last year, so hopefully this year will be the same.

I submitted the forms and received emails back this morning that they had been accepted, so that is over and done with. My point, however, is that this simple task which took me maybe 45 minutes lived rent-free in my brain for 4 months. Because anxiety!

When I was a kid, my mom told me I had a problem with procrastination. The truth is I don’t think it’s really procrastination, or at worst, that is a symptom of an underlying problem – anxiety! It’s not that I wish to put off my tasks, it’s that my anxiety gives me 5,000 reasons why doing the task is a bad idea. I then have to rationalize through those 5,000 reasons to get to the task. That is why I filed my taxes on April 16th, instead of the end of January like a normal person. That is why I am sitting here right now looking at my three poems I would like to read tomorrow and thinking that they are stupid and crappy- because I have not yet rationalized that they are good and worthy.

Time will tell if I manage to do so and end up reading them tomorrow night at the cafe. I hate having to wait for my brain to catch up with my mood- especially when my mood is good and high and I am feeling alright, but then my crazy brain sends crazy thoughts that ruin the day. If the poetry reading were right now, I would go based upon my mood alone, which has been quite good these past few days. Alas, anxiety threatens that mood, but I shall fight back! I shall not relinquish to my old foe. Even if I have to rationalize for the next 24 hours, I will find a way to overcome. At least, one can hope.

Where the Kids Hang Out

The whole family came down with a stomach bug after Sunday night, when we had our Corned Beef Cook-off. My sister called me, because she was very sick, and needed me to bring her Ginger Ale. I, of course, ran into the burning building of germs because that is what I do when my baby sister needs me. The next day, I felt like crap. I spent most of the day sleeping, and when I woke up I felt a lot better. I had made plans to go to a poetry reading on Wednesday night, and since I was no longer ill, I figured I would give it a go. Probably a mistake, since by the time I got home I felt terrible again, but this blog is not about feeling terrible, this is about the brief moment in which I did not.

Now, as the usual reader knows, I attend a poetry night at a bookstore near my house about once a month. In fact, I was the featured reader last October, and I have sadly not been in attendance since, because weather forced it to close for a few months, and then Momma passing caused ME to close for a few months. (By the way, both are back open.) I plan to attend tonight’s reading, but it all really depends on how I feel when I get out of work. But that is beside the point, which is that I went to a reading on Wednesday.

I started attending the bookstore reading pre-pandemic, when it was a mix of a crowd and I was far too anxious to try and speak to anyone. I arrived, read my poems, and went home. Then the world got sick, and we stopped doing things for a while, and when poetry night returned it was in a different incarnation, run by a different moderator, and with a different group of people. I got to know their faces and styles of poetry over the past year, and I like them all very much. However, and I am not saying this in any sort of bragging way, but I am almost always the youngest person in the room. This is not a problem for me, because I have always interacted with “adults” better than my peers. But I also know that poetry is having a renaissance here in Buffalo, and I’ve been to one or two events where there was a younger group of poets. But I only knew a couple of them, and I didn’t know where they hung out! It certainly was not the little bookstore I went to the last Friday of every month, so where have they been? I started looking around for other readings or workshops last year, and I discovered that there was a coffee shop in the Elmwood Village that was doing readings on Wednesday nights. I further discovered this night was hosted by my favorite local poet, and so I decided to attend. Of course, every time there was a reading something came up. It was almost always my health, so on Wednesday when I woke up sick, I was not at all surprised it would be ruining my plans again. However, I then slept for 6 hours, and when I woke up I felt like I could take on the world. It was a blessed break from feeling crappy, and it came at the perfect moment, right in time for me to go read a couple poems at a coffee shop to a group of strangers.

Because that’s what they were: strangers. There was a single man there that I have seen before, an older gentleman with a rambling poem that transports you back in time. I saw him once or twice at the bookstore, but every other face in the crowd aside from Justin’s was unfamiliar to me. And I don’t even know Justin that well! I thought to myself that there was a time when I would never have been able to go to this event. It took a lot of work to get me to the one at the bookstore back in the day, with me waging a constant war against my anxiety. But now, there I was, performing my poetry for a crowd of folks I had never seen before. Progress.

What struck me was the age of the folks in attendance. I was surprised to find people younger than me, older than me, and most surprising…folks my own age! It’s not that I feel out of place at the bookstore, but I do often feel like the baby of group. Here, I blended into the crowd and that is something that my anxiety really enjoyed. Then, it was my turn to read. I read Heaven is History, my little rhyming poem about the afterlife, which was met with much applause and cheering. Then I read Brigid, my poem about the saint/goddess, and myself and my mother, to which I received massive applause, as well as someone in the crowd screaming “Go, poet!” I don’t know who that was- but they made my freaking day. I felt really good afterwards, and driving home I thought to myself that there was nothing I could not accomplish.  Of course, then I woke up sick in the morning, but that is beside the point as well.

Tonight, I have the bookstore, but I have decided that I will be attending the coffee shop as well from this point forward. The older group gets together on Wednesday’s at a venue in Amherst, and while I would really like to check that out at some point, I think my Wednesday’s will now be devoted to a different crowd. It’s not like I’m going to stop going to the Friday night readings, because I have been going for a year now and I very much appreciate and admire the folks I have met. But the circle is small there, and I need to expand my reach. So we will incorporate Wednesday evenings into the rotation. Mark mentioned the age differences between the two groups to me, and I smiled. Perhaps I will write a poem about them, how they write about different topics, with very different voices, and live life in different ways. And yet, no matter our age or walk of life, we come together to read our work and express our love of existence. That has no age limit.

Poetry in October

Everything, of course, is garbage.  Meaning, everything I write; meaning, complete hamster-cage liner.  I mean, yeah, I know that’s not true; just let me have this meltdown for a moment, ok?

So, October is coming up pretty quick, huh?  Many things are going on in October for me, like moving to a new apartment, my husband’s 40th birthday (E has a b-day, too,) my first weekend running the shop on my own, at least one trip out to Erie to see mom, and Halloween/my sister’s birthday, wherein she turns 26 and I finally live in a neighborhood that hands out candy.  Also…poetry night, featuring yours truly.  Clearly, we are going to talk about that, since I started this post by telling you all of my writing is garbage.  Hot, stinky trash. 

Nope, that’s just me psyching myself out.  I know what I want to do: a couple of pieces from, A Lovely Wreckage…gotta sell those books.  A piece from the yet to be picked up (Un)Requited.  Maybe VII from Me and Jesus etc.  Some outliers…the ones I really like that I haven’t read yet.  And maybe The Squirrel, and Halloween…y’know, because…Halloween. 

See, I know what I’ll read, and I know I’ll read well.  I don’t have the panic I had a few years back.  Still, old habits die real hard, and I find myself judging my work through my most critical eye-which I despise, of course.  I thought that my imposter syndrome was dead and gone, at least at the level of writing I have achieved.  This is new, however…being a featured reader.  I get like 15-17 minutes or something crazy when I’m used to doing 3-6 minutes at a time.  I’m going to have to figure out timing on my performance as well.

Anyway, that’s what I’m going to go work on during this rainy Monday afternoon.  If you’re here in the area on October 28th around 6pm, do drop in and hear me read.  On one hand, I want to pack the place.  On the other hand, I’d like no one to show up at all, besides the regulars I am already comfortable sharing with.  But it would be nice, I think, to see some familiar friends in the crowd.  So come on down to Dog Ears, and I’ll read you a poem about a squirrel.

Happy Monday.

Poems in the Past

The other day, I received a memory notification on Facebook that 2 years prior, I had been published in The Buffalo News.  This was a momentous day which I wrote about in my blog back then, and am writing about now, as well. 

See, long story made very short, I wanted to be published in The Buffalo News poetry column since I was about 15, and I did not accomplish it until well after I began my publishing career in 2018.  On Fire was a special little poem I wrote for a poetry contest that I won, and I liked it enough to throw it into my submission packet, and then one day I got up the guts to actually send it to The News, with literally no expectation whatsoever.  In fact, I forgot I even sent it, until the day it appeared in the Sunday paper.

I felt so accomplished.  I know to some it may seem like hardly anything, but for me it was a dream 20 years in the making. I had already published several pieces, and my book had been out for a few months, but that was the day I truly felt like an actual author

Well, folks, the paper dropped the column.  Shocking, isn’t it?  This left me with a hollow feeling, as if now the newspaper is completely devoid of hope.

The column has been run by Robert D. Pohl, a man I have never met but know of via socials and friends of friends.  Despite not knowing him, I would run up and hug him if I could, because in my opinion he gave me the gift of a dream come true, and I am sad to see his legacy leave the newspaper. 

Another thing Robert did was keep the literature calendar, which I believe I heard he will still try to continue to do, which Is a blessing to all us writers.  The literature calendar told us who was reading where and when, and also who was hosting open mics and other events.  Buffalo has a pretty broad writing community, and I am hopeful that we will still be able to figure out how to get together. 

Anyhoo, I am very sad to see this feature go, but I am very grateful to have been published when I was.  What we need here in Buffalo is an arts magazine again.  We used to have one, but it folded, and now we have nothing to promote and discuss our incredibly vibrant arts scene.  I wish someone would step up and create such awesomeness…I can tell you, you would not be short of content.  We have enough writers in this city to bring it to life-shame I don’t know a single entrepreneur, though.

Ode to a Tip Jar

Ode to a Tip Jar 

A ringing noise upon my ear
tells me that an email's here,
so, I look to see, and sure enough-
a WordPress logo, bold and tough!
Oh, perhaps has someone read my tome?
I wonder aloud as I start to roam
my way around the website’s format,
hoping to find a like or comment.
But look! Oh no! It bears bad news!
No, not a troll with too tight shoes,
no, not a bot trying to sell me a cruise;
it’s the company telling me it’s time for my dues!
But woe is me, I’m out of work,
and what little is coming is already marked,
so, what is a writer-girl to do
when her tip jar is empty
and her wallet is, too?
Shill yourself, honey, sell them a book!
Better yet, a Patreon subscription-those are off the hook!
Or if they really love you, the tip jar they will find…
to the very right of the blog page, no waiting in line.
See, usually it doesn’t matter, I get by on what I get,
but I lose quite a chunk if certain needs are not met,
like the webhosting bill that comes due every July
and makes me suddenly want to vomit and cry.
So here I am asking a favor of you,
my dearest readers, I hope you come through,
and offer to me maybe a buck or two,
so I can keep this site running for me and for you.
Ok, now that my rhyme is done,
I’m off to pen some delirium,
because I just got a new notification
and it has brought me great exasperation.
So hopefully you find some happy in your day,
because mine is slowly ebbing away,
and I urge you please to consider a donation,
so I can keep on writing these quotations.

Solicitous Histrionics

Open a dictionary. Pick a word. Now close it.

Open it again.  Pick another word.  Close it.

Now, write a poem using those two words.

This is a fun little game taught to me by my favorite local poet, Justin Karcher.  Back in January, I discovered he would be doing a workshop at the Just Buffalo Literary Center, and my mother was kind enough to purchase me a ticket.  It was in May, so it was a long wait.  There were only 9 or 10 of us, but it was great…to me at least, who had never been to a writing workshop of any kind. 

One of the first questions he posed was what poetry meant to us.  It’s a simple concept, I suppose, but if you don’t have a grasp of what your craft means to you, then what are you even doing? I responded to this question with a poem of my own, naturally:

By Brigid Hannon

Poetry is my voice, 
louder in word than in action.
My pen on paper. 
or my mouth and teeth and tongue,
no different from each other.
Each meter should lift darkness into light. 
Each verse should move a heart to break, 
each stanza another gasp from muted lips-
poetry is power and 
opinion and 
the never ceasing beat 
of our living hearts.

Now, a lot of Justin’s stuff has to do with our shared home of Buffalo, NY, which may be why I love it so much.  I have long held a hope to write a collection of just Buffalo poems, so when he said we would be writing poems about “home” in some fashion, I was delighted.  I started free writing some thoughts down, and eventually I took those bones and pieced them together into a skeleton of a poem, which I took home with me to work on further.  I knew it wasn’t the sort I could pound out in an hour-long class.  I did, however, write this little guy as well, which I have no intention of doing anything with, so I might as well share it with you here:
Safe Shoes
Also by Brigid Hannon

No flip-flops today;
no sandals.
Sneakers?  But no...
laces come untied.
Little ones, so scared,
and yet prepared,
and I cannot choose a shoe.

An adult counterpart,
I've no active training.
"Where's the exit," I ask myself,
looking to the black sturdy Sketchers
I picked out,
with rubber soles and no laces-
shoes that keep me safe,
like I keep little souls who find me,
willing to sacrifice for such.

She tells me she likes her school;
she feels safe:
"We hardly ever have a lockdown." 
Look to the ground to keep from crying, 
seeing only sturdy safe shoes-
shoes that make me RUN.

Anyway, the workshop was lovely.  I went home and worked on my main poem for a bit, and when it was done, I emailed it to Justin to show him.  A few days later, he got back to me and asked if he could publish it in the June edition of Ghost City Press, which is the mag where I published my first poem, so, I mean…yeah, dude.  Of course.
So, in honor of that, I made a TikTok for it, which I will share at the end of this post.  It is a poem about my city, but also about my grandparents.  We were supposed to write about what home means to us, and my city is my home, where I would not live were it not for my grandparents, who gave me this wonderful home without even realizing it.  
Finally, I tried to write a poem using the dictionary game, and I tell you, friend-I have failed.  I have been drowning in the words “solicitous histrionics” for weeks now, because those are the two words that noodled their way out of the book and into my brain.  Eventually, I will write that poem-it will probably be a weird one.
So, that’s all for today, I think.  Happy Monday!


I guess you can thank my friend Carey for my summer project.

See, school ends after this week’s Saturday program, so I am in pursuit of something to do over the summer.  I did score a nice gig as a theater teacher for a kid’s summer camp, but that’s only for a week.  I took it mainly to pay for my trip to Salem this Autumn.  That leaves several more weeks with little to do.  I intend to find a few more jobs to make a little extra cash…maybe babysitting or home care or something.  But my big project for this summer is the seed that Carey planted.

Carey is my self-proclaimed biggest fan, in that she would still like my stuff even if she didn’t know me.  And she LOVES when I share videos on TikTok.  One night, after reading my book, she came over and said that she wanted me to read it to her someday.  She said that the poems are good on their own, but spectacular when I bring them to life with my voice.  I simply took this as a lovely compliment and moved on with my life, and didn’t think much more of it…until I got similar compliments from other people.  I also was coming of the high of a good open mic night, and the wheels started to turn.

See, I have a background as an actor.  In fact, if there is a job to be done in the theater, I have done it.  So, when I read my poems, I’m not just reading them, I’m performing them, and that makes a lot of difference, apparently. Then I read this article about using Audible for publishing audio books, and pieces slide into place.

It’s not too hard, and it’s not too pricey, and it’s a great way to expand on what I already have with A Lovely Wreckage.  So, I called in the troops…Sahar came to the rescue by donating funds to buy equipment needed, and Kevin will be directing and recording.  A lot of articles say not to voice your own book…I don’t care about that.  I’m not just a writer; I can hack it.  Also, narration is the biggest cost in the process, so I am cutting that one right out, right away. 

I annotated the book, and will be offering this special edition only through Audible.  It shall also contain an extra poem or two, written since its release, as bonus material.  I don’t expect to make a lot of money, but I do hope that my friends and family give it a listen, as it has, in my opinion, more depth and interest with the annotations…but then, I am a sucker for annotated poetry.  I guess I’m hoping you are, too.

So, that is my plan for the summer months, to turn my words on paper into a song for the ears. I hope you will enjoy it…I know Carey will.

Happy Thursday!

Algorithmic Blues

I’m forcing myself to write right now, because I haven’t had the urge too much lately.  That’s not quite true actually, I have had the desire but not the means…simply no time.  This morning I have a moment or two, but really, I am so tired I would rather be curled on the sofa watching Grace and Frankie.  Alas, it is Monday, a fresh week, so here I sit.

I wrote a poem called Uvalde, and I made a video for it, which I posted on Facebook and TikTok and also here in my blog.  It did well on Facebook…not so much on TikTok.  So, I had to look around as to why.  All my friends on that platform loved it, but then I realized…It was only reaching my friends. It only got 30-something views over the course of several days.  Then, almost on accident, I stumbled across an article about the TikTok algorithm.

There is a feature on TikTok where you can add captions to your video.  I always do this, not just for the hearing impaired and those sneakily watching at work, but also because I am a writer and my words are my strength-so of course I want you to see them.

What I came to find out, however, is that if you add captions to your video, sometimes you may use words that TikTok doesn’t approve of.  If they find such words in your captions, they don’t promote your video to For You pages.  So, naturally, I used the word “gun” a few times in my poem about gun control…apparently, I should have used an emoji.  I also used “dead,” for which the article tells me I must write “unalive.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

I know a lot of kids use TikTok so I’m guessing that’s where this algorithmic rule comes into play, but most kids over the age of 6 can make out most words-I’m saying they know how to read.  And what’s more, they can HEAR me say whatever I want-so whether I put an emoji or the word “gun” in the captions…kid just heard me.  It’s stupid, beyond measure.

I joined TikTok because I thought it would be a cool way to share some of my work, and it is, but I’m a little peeved that if I write certain words, it will be censored. If you want to keep kids safe or whatever, kick them off the site.  Probably shouldn’t be here anyway.  Or, make all videos need approval.  Go big or go home, essentially, don’t walk a tightrope between free speech and censorship.

So, I took the captions out of my video and waited 24 hours and lookie here! 300 views.  Yes, I did totally screw myself in the algorithm…but I shouldn’t have, because it’s ridiculous and shouldn’t exist.

That’s my gripe for today, folks.  I wish I had a little more to say, but I do not.  As previously stated, the sofa has been calling my name this morning, and I still have four more projects I need to work on, so I will cut this one a little short.   Do have a happy Monday!

Performance Anxiety

Back in 2019, I went to an open mic night with my friend Beth at my side for moral support and fought my inner doubter-I shared my work.  I continued to attend this monthly soiree until March 2020, when Covid came and shut us all down.  It moved to a virtual format for a bit, which then kind of morphed into its own thing.  I was sad…I liked poetry night at my local bookstore.

Every time I was in there, I asked the proprietor if the event would return, and he would tell me it would, sometime in the future.  I waited.

Then one night my father asks if I follow a guy he knows on Facebook.  I say no and inquire, and he tells me this man will be picking up where we left off with poetry night, bringing it back better than ever.  This delighted me, and so I marked my calendar for the first meeting in two years. 

I didn’t know anyone there, just like I didn’t know anyone when I went back in 2019.  However, my circumstances had changed…I had once been so hesitant to share my work, but I have grown past that now.  What really struck me that night was a woman named Mary, who was sharing her poetry for the first time.  And reader, it was lovely, and absolutely relatable for me.  She seemed so nervous, and brought friends for support, just as I had, and though I did not know her, when she was done reading I wanted to run up and hug her, because I was proud of her the way I had once been proud of myself for having the courage to share my work. 

There have been two meetings since the first.  Mary has been there both times, prepared with poetry, and I can see her bravery expand each time she reads.  It’s a pretty awesome transformation to witness, actually. 

Anyhoo…Tim, who runs the show, mentioned that he was still looking for features to fill out the year.  I don’t know where my anxiety was, perhaps asleep at the wheel, but I proceeded to message him and ask if he would like me to be one of those readers, to which I received a solid “yes.”

So now, in October, I will be the featured reader at my poetry open mic night.  The 2019 version of me has no idea how this happened…that I would have the audacity…the sheer BALLS, to just asked for what I wanted?  Who the hell is that person??

As always, I stand here with more confidence than I have any right to have.  I literally just said this to Kevin: “I was a fat, four-eyed, balding middle schooler; I have no business feeling this fabulous.”

But honestly, I’m not who I was that first night I read.  I have always been comfortable on a stage, mind you…this was about my writing, not my performance technique (another thing I have ridiculous confidence in,)  The “stage fright” is gone now, though…there is no anxiety about my words.  I have shared them, and they have resonated.  I have been told by friends and fans that my poetry is something special, and I hope that is true.  All I know is that I am more comfortable with it today than I was yesterday, and it can only get better from here.

Happy Monday, folks.