I've had a pretty crazy week. Crazy in a good way, though I can't deny snapping at poor Eric from irritability, tiredness, and dehydration. Sorry buddy. The litre of wine really helped.
On Wednesday, I was featuring at Raw Canvas's Poetry Jam. They hold this event once a month, every second Wednesday, but this one was special because I was there (kidding). It was pretty much magical. Raw Canvas is a sweet place, first of all. It's a restaurant and cafe in Yaletown, but does not have Yaletown prices or pretentiousness. It's full of velvety antique furniture and interesting art, being as it is an art bar. For $35, you can get yourself a canvas and start a painting in the back with all the supplies they have laid out there. Super sweet vibe, very chill, described by Chris Gilpin as "the most romantic bar in Vancouver." I thought this would be the perfect place to come out of my shell a little.
It's become apparent to me that I am an erotic poet. I don't mean to be, and I've been told that even my poems that have nothing to do with sex have a sensuality to them. I've tried to resist this a little bit, because I love and respect really political poetry and wish I could write more about it. I'm also stuck on gender issues--I have a gender neutral academic name for a reason. When I was in undergrad, a male professor started paying attention to me, telling me we should work together because I have a lot of potential. The guy I was seeing at the time said to me, "If i were him and had a student that looked like you, I'd say the same thing." Nice. Also, when I won my first slam, my own father said to me, "You were probably the best looking one there." Thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad. Then recently, a friend explained to me that both when I score well and when I score badly, it's because I'm pretty. I hate those sort of comments--the people saying them think they are complimenting you, but actually they are telling you you might as well be barefoot and pregnant because you're only valuable for your boobs. Or whatever.
So what's a gender-conscious poet to do? Well, beginning with Raw Canvas, I decided to fuck that noise and just go with it. I write poetry because it feels good, not because I'm trying to make a point. As long as people let me read it to them, I'll do it. So the theme of the evening at Vancouver's most romantic bar (for my set anyway) was sex. and it was awesome! Felt really good to be myself, and I got a ton of really, really positive feedback. I even found out that I have a couple of fans--people who watch out for me at the slam and enjoy my readings every time! How awesome is that?
So welcome to my erotic world, readers. Expect more poetry and more honesty to come.