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Poetry Reading After Action Report 1/12/12

I hadn't written much new poetry for last nights reading. I only had a single haiku about Kim Jung Il. I brought along a few of my baiku to fill out my time at the mic.

It turns out that I was better off without a lot of material. The reading was very well attended, with 13 people reading. Two are particularly memorable. One was my old friend Jim, who makes it to every reading with something original and enjoyable. This time it was a piece of doggerel  called "If God Was A Pirate". It enumerated many different kinds of bad people that God could be (starting with a pirate of course, and including a banker.) It wrapped up pointing out that we should be grateful that God is not any of these evil types, and that God is in fact good  A poem about God that is both whimsical and reverent is tough to pull off (some might even say it's dangerous to try) but Jim did it and deserves kudos.

Leslie was also memorable. She had just put out a chapbook called "Splintered Memories". Jonathan made an announcement about it, but had a brief memory block about the title. He'd done the same thing at the last reading. I think he did it deliberately, as a joke. That's OK. I pull the same gag when I teach about memory in my operating systems class.

I was the next to the last reader. I decided that since the audience had just sat through 20 other poems, I would just read my haiku and none of the other poems I'd brought. Here's the haiku:

Kim Jung Il

You were short, ugly, 
And you dressed like Bea Arthur.
I am glad you're dead.

It got a lot of laughs, and the audience reaction told me that reading only this haiku was the right decision. Something the audience did not know that I will tell you, gentle reader, is that the funniest part of the poem (the second line) is stolen from Ann Coulter. At least I'm pretty sure nobody in the audience knew that. Poetry readings tend not to draw Ann Coulter fans.