Thanks to Edie Tsong and Sydney Cooper for all their vision and for inviting me to participate.
Edie had originally said “be vulnerable.” I decide I would do in public what I do at home. Read in my pajamas and drink tea.
I started out by throwing some sequins onto the piece. I decided to just read what I was reading anyway–French poetry, a book on sand, and the collected stories of William Carlos Williams. I also wrote in my journal, and read some of my poetry.
This is what I wrote in my journal, and eventually read aloud as part of the piece: Sitting in my pjs feels vulnerable of course but less scary than giving an actual “reading.” Huge altar piece behind me. I left two important pills as my offering. Now the audience is chatting, and I’m reading silently! This isn’t what I expected, but what did I expect. I thought it might be silly but it has been oddly deep and serene. I think I like reading these books in public. I feel like I’m in residence in the altar.
The words of the books came together in some kind of seamless whole. It was unexpected, took focus, but created focus too.
Plus, I got a great pair of new pajamas.
Photos of me thanks to Edie Tsong. PJs from Clothworks in Cambridge, Mass.