I went to another poetry reading last night with my friend who is a poet. I am a writer but I hesitate to refer to myself as a poet, though I do like that term. It describes a lifestyle I want to have, a person I want to be! The truth of the matter, though, is that I write poetry significantly less than I write in other genres, and significantly less than I used to. It's a sad thing.
I am a veritable shrinking violet around other people and it was difficult to get myself to begin reading poetry at these gatherings, but last night, when I had no poems on hand to read, I enjoyed the experience a bit less. That sounds vain but it isn't. It's not like people are trailing me around for my autograph afterwards. I just feel more a part of the community aspect of it when I read. You know... we are all poets here, sipping lattes in dark light, half-outdoors in the night with a small stage and a microphone, sharing our craft. That's what I love about it, and last night I felt more like an outsider.
The only reason I didn't read is because I haven't written anything new! I flipped through my poems and discovered that I had already read the ones I felt were good. There is also that pesky "it's too personal" mantra of mine that prevents me from reading much of the quality work. Alas. My goal now is to write new material and be able to read at the poetry reading in April (next month's is at a venue I don't care for), when my friend will be the featured reader.