I once stood in front of a hundred people at a metal band and open bar fundraiser and started to read poetry.
This is not the beginning.
We open on an invisible stage.
When I first walk out into the spotlights, everything slows down.
Ten, a hundred, a thousand people- it doesn’t matter.
There is a trick with spotlights.
They hide the world beyond them.
There are shapes in the darkness, flashes of movement and noise, but-
unless I’m at that hundred person poetry reading being held during a metal band/open bar fundraiser
-the watchers might as well not be there.
The other trick is that as soon as they disappear, I have to rebuild them.
When I look out into the darkness, I have to create the faces of my judgment.
I have to create me.
There is a joy, true and genuine, to performing for myself.
But that moment when I build the audience in my mind, for the story I am to tell-
That is the moment my words have power.
That is the moment my pen, my voice combine to look into the darkness, to say-
Here I am.
Stay tuned for ACT II tomorrow!