She Doesn’t Come to Readings Anymore (P&M Deleted Scene)

The Pizzas and Mermaid sessions produced an abundance of creative material that could not all fit into the book.  Here are some of the outtakes.  Once they’ve wet your whistle, follow this link

She Doesn’t Come to Poetry Readings Anymore

The last time I was setting up a Facebook event page for a poetry reading I didn’t invite her cuz she doesn’t come to poetry readings anymore.

She used to come to all of them. Every week starting at fifteen years old she’d come to the open mic and read something with pretty and complex language that represented the innermost feelings she could not normally share in other contexts. She had gone to alcohol rehab as a teenager cuz her parents thought she was an alcoholic and they wanted her to become a lawyer like they were. She spotlessly attended the readings, cuz she needed it and firmly believed in it just like I did. When I met her she was a freshman in college and I was 11 years older, but her commitment moved me and I asked her to do a featured reading with me.

“Yes,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to. Thank you so much!”

I remember the night of the reading right before she was going on stage she turned to me and said “I know this isn’t a big deal but I’m so nervous.”

“No,” I said, “this IS a big deal. You have the opportunity to move and heal people with your words tonight.”

And then she went up there and read her best poems and a full house clapped for her.

After that she mysteriously stopped coming to the open mic every week. There’d be long gaps when you just wouldn’t see her. She’d show up to one and it would be a pleasant surprise.

“Haven’t seen you in awhile?” I’d say.

“Oh, ya know,” she’d say. “I’ve been busy.”

Then she’d read a new poem and you’d remember she had a lot of talent and potential.

Then came a time when I never saw her at a poetry reading again. I’d still invite her to all my events on Facebook and she’d comment something like, “sorry, can’t make it, miss you guys!” But then after awhile she wouldn’t even leave a comment anymore. It’s been like two years since I’ve seen or heard from her at all and now I don’t bother inviting her to things.

I’ve seen more than one person like her come and go in the poetry scene and I wonder what happens to them. She’s done with college now and I wonder if she’s trying to be a lawyer. I wonder if she thinks open mics are stupid now, kidstuff, a phase. Maybe she’s going thru a completely normal thing in human development – The Graduation from Poetry.

I still need the poetry readings as bad as ever tho and try to never miss one. And I can’t seem to stop no matter how many former allies disappear. I guess I’m okay with being abnormal in this way, but I do miss her and the other Graduates.


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