I just got done reading some poetry at Pizza Pi in Long Beach. There’s an open mic night, and it’s actually pretty great. Some great music and slam poetry. Really enjoyed it. Heron even came. She gave me a bunch of shit for not having health insurance though. That’s one thing you need to think about as a freelance writer — medical bills. It’s scary to not have protection. I play a lot of basketball, and I’m kind of the rebounder, hustling type of baller.
For the record, I did call and pay for my first month of health insurance. So I will follow up in the morning.
I did have some excellent news today. I had a pitch accepted at Pacific Standard magazine. It’s the biggest publication I’ve had yet. But I need to really bust my ass and write the piece before I talk to much about it. You never know, pieces can get killed. Plus, tomorrow, my piece on Joseph Mattson comes out at the LA Weekly. Really excited. I just need to keep this momentum going.
I’ve had a couple slices of pizza, two beers, and I’m ready for bed. Goodnight everyone.
So fellow poet and blogger, Scott Carroll (I hate to blow his cover, but he’s had poetry published in ZZYZZVA) wrote a poem about traffic called Topanga Canyon. He dedicated the poem to me, knowing that I spent a lot of time in traffic when I was working at the rehab center and teaching creative writing. That drive was horrible, but Scott and I understand that even in the middle of traffic, lined up like a bunch of tuna in tin cans, there is a way to find something poetic, something meaningful.
When I was dealing with that traffic, I would dread Sunday night. I know, it’s weird, you think I would dread being at work or in traffic, but on the eve of the week ahead, I would have these terrible bouts of anxiety, thinking about the traffic — would it take me three hours to get to work? would there be an accident? would I be the one in the accident? — and I began to hate Sunday. I enjoyed work, but I hated the drive. Honestly, I wasn’t happy. So I wrote a poem one Sunday night. Clink on the link below to hear an audio version of me reading it:
Before the Week Ahead
It’s funny, though, and hard to describe, exactly, what I would like to say about traffic. And I hope the poem does that. The rest of the day, I’m going to enjoy being alive. I’m going to go on a run. I’m going to drink a tad bit of rum — we ran out of wine. And I’m going to enjoy my family — Heron and my dog. I hope you, too, are finding a way to enjoy the night, the day, the approaching retired space shuttle, the city you call home.