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Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be a celebrity writer. Ever since I heard about J.D. Salinger getting to be a complete recluse but still receiving lots of adoration from society anyway. And for some reason I never thought it would be all that hard. I figured it was probably my destiny.
Forward by Reed Bye
Here is Jonathan Montgomery’s Book of Writing—a selection of poetic narratives and discourses generated in the time-compressed context of open mic poetry readings and charged with the energy of lively stand-up performance.
A famous poet just came to town and read at some of the open mics. Their voice was strong and their words were true and they had the Writer’s Neck…
The best part of creating something is the Release Party.
After creating something you put it in a form the world can consume for a reasonable price, and you let everyone know it’s available with a Release Party.
Poets, Poems, and Poetry
When I usta drive cab for a living one good part was getting to meet people with jobs I didn’t know anything about. Like lawyer.
One night I gave one a ride, and he was hammered. Someone hadta help him in the door, plop him down flat on the backseat, and tell me where to drop him off.
In 8th grade English we had to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and write a poem about it.
I got the gist of the book – It wasn’t the monster’s fault. And that was very relatable to me.
One Night a Guy Fresh Outta Jail Was at the Open Mic
This was years ago at a venue and reading series that are now long gone. I was fresh on the scene and had a lot of motivation to be great. Each time I went on stage I’d feel like I’d reached a new level, and the audience would seem to agree. I think mostly they liked that I really believed in myself. People don’t seem to really know if poetry is great, but they always know fearlessness is great.
At the end Grammy didn’t always make sense.
“Uncle Stanley’s fortune,” she’d say. “Who took Uncle Stanley’s fortune? Helen and Lester? My sakes…”
“Uncle Stanley didn’t have a fortune,” you’d hafta say. “He died a penniless farmer.”
But I knew Grammy was also still a rare opportunity to get some valuable information about the past.
The Best Poet in Boulder
One night in the cab I pulled up to an intersection on The Hill, and someone on the street recognized me.
“Jonny!” he pointed.
“Publish My Cock”
In college I hadn’t gotten into poetry readings yet. I was more about short stories and playwriting back then, and sharing them in the workshops was enough for me. But I did go to a student poetry reading once, and the one thing I can still remember about it was a guy reading a poem called “Publish My Cock.”
Jonathan’s Lines Are Very… Intense
During the summers when I was a kid my parents would put me in art camp.
You’d go to some professional artist’s studio and draw pictures for a few hours a day for a week while the artist would sometimes look over at you and nod.
When people are kids it’s easier to understand that we may not be fully in control of who we are. Instead of by calculation or design like adults you figure kid’s personalities came into this life with them as pre-destined as their pulse.