Saturday, March 10, 2007

The myth of stars and moonbeams.

Back in the year 2000, my wife Valarie and I were on vacation in Victoria, BC.  We passed by a coffeehouse and saw a flyer for a weekly poetry reading on the window.  The flyer made reference to "stars and moonbeams"; it was clear that moonbeams were the poets that weren't as special as the stars.

In the year 2002, I was photographed along with about 200 other poets on the lawn of Venice's Beyond Baroque [think of it as Carnegie Hall for SoCal's poetry community] for what's known as The Big Picture.  There was a break for either lunch or dinner.  The "star" poets did not deign to eat outside with their plebian brothers and sisters.  Instead, they ate gourmet food in comfort inside the building.  The "moonbeam" poets ate potluck (and very good potluck it was) food outside.  Not all that different from the kind of caste system one sees on film/TV shoots.

I would hazard to guess that most of the "moonbeam" poets ate their potluck happily and didn't worry about the "stars" choosing to remain indoors with their own brilliant kind.

Alas, I've always been the one who--while acknowledging that each poet may not have the same gifts of talent as other poets--has preferred that all poets eat outside and share the same food.

Egalitarianism--it's truly a curse in this day and age.


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