Monday, October 19, 2009

Jericho Brown, Readings and Teaching

Yesterday I heard Jericho Brown read at the Brookline Poetry series and, afterwards, thought a lot about the performance aspects of poetry readings and of teaching. He's a gracious, handsome man with many elegant braids down his very straight back. I'd like to channel his ability to stand there, eyes closed, until he's ready to speak, and then, to perform his work, sometimes with a little smile, sometimes just with intensity. I doubt that it's possible for me to develop any elements of this intense, (seemingly) secure delivery. But I have always felt comfortable teaching, as if I'm in my element, relaxed and easy, somewhat invisible, but effective. 

What I really want to do now is to stop teaching -- leave this part-time job, the leftovers after I retired and left the position. It's too painful to have been good at what I did, and now to feel inadequate because there's too little time to do enough. I used to include the lowest level student, now I can only work toward the better ones. That doesn't feel right.

What's quite amazing is that I went to a party at Lorna and Warren's house and, at the end of the evening, talked very briefly to a woman who is a caretaker for the elderly. She's sixty-seven, needs to make some money and wants to remain active. She works two twelve-hour shifts a week. That sounds good. Someone else told me about a similar job early this summer, but I lost that information. I managed to keep hold of the card this woman gave me on Friday evening and e-mailed her this afternoon. That's moving, in some direction.

By the end of the week, I'm hoping to do a budget with the help of a friend. Then I'll know whether I really do have to keep on working, not that I want to stop. I'm programmed to work. I like working. Not working seems like death. Being creatively productive isn't enough. That's not work. That's a necessity.

1 comment:

  1. I hope I'll hear you read from your chapbook.