Okay, I promised a part two to this… so here I am.
Not only was this past weekend the Columbus Arts Festival, it was also the Rustbelt Poetry Slam. Teams from all over the midwest came to Columbus to compete for a team and individual title. I didn’t get to go, as I was preparing for Arts Fest– and, let’s be honest– trying to balance my life in the process.
From what I have read on Facebook and seen on YouTube, there were some fire hot performances. To cap it off, the Writer’s Block team won the team competition. That was amazing to hear and I was quite proud of them. And, a little envious.
Oh, envy…. green-eyed beast. Sitting over my shoulder, watching the performances on YouTube, reading post after post celebrating each others’ work, that beast almost took the wind out of my sails for the weekend. Almost made me feel that Arts Fest was second class or something. Made me feel like there was a part of me that STILL doesn’t belong in the poetry community. Made me wonder what is still wrong with my poetry that it doesn’t belong in this upper echelon of regional and national performance. Kept whispering in my ear, “why aren’t you like them?”
I really hate that part of myself.
I listen to performances, read the responses about it giving people chills, being genius, having “arrived” and I wonder if I will ever have that skill. Be able to move people that much. And those were the questions that lingered for a couple of days after the Festival.
I remembered going to see a friend perform last Friday night. He didn’t see me in the audience until a little over half-way through his show. He finally saw me and said hi. He then asked me if I still perform “Pockets”– a poem I wrote two summers ago. He said he “hearted the Pockets poem a lot.”
And then at Arts Fest, a woman telling her friend that I was the one who “wrote a poem about doing it in the garage.” She was a fan of that one.
And, of course, remembering that I worked DAMN HARD to make it to Arts Fest! They don’t take everyone, and it’s an absolute HONOR to be there and be a top three finisher, to boot! Just making it to Arts Fest was one of my goals when I first moved to Columbus a year ago. To make it AND place in the top 3… it leaves me jubilant and humble.
What did I learn from these memories? My poems DO live. They take on little lives of their own and make their little mark on that woven tapestry of memory. And that’s pretty cool. And I’ll take it, and keep on writing and performing. Hopefully, I can keep writing and performing pieces that will entertain people, periodically.
So now, dear readers, I deal with burn out. I’m tired, peeps! Work and poetry and still getting settled in with the mister. I took a couple of months off f from shadowcasting, but I think I am going to have to cut down even more. I love shadowcasting, but I can’t do two casts… that’s two shows a month plus rehearsals. I can’t do that if I want my primary focus to be on improving my poetry. This means that there are some hard choices coming; but it’s best to cut back than burn out on everything. Damn responsibility.
I am taking a couple days off from writing. Might crochet this week. Might just read. Might just sleep. But next week,oh, I’ll be getting back into the swing of things, and the world better watch out. I still have stuff to say! My story isn’t over, yet.