When receiving backchannel e-mail from the Important poet at last Thursday's reading in Redondo Beach, I had an accusation hurled at me.
Essentially, it was that I don't notice how "positive" the poetry scene is.
And there was one actually-positive event that evening I didn't write about earlier.
A teenage girl (who, to me, seemed to be a junior in High School) stood up to read a "found" poem assembled from opening paragraphs of Charlotte Bronte's JANE EYRE.
Feeling overwhelmed by reading a poem for the first time in front of an audience of strangers, the girl began to cry.
Audience members--plus the host, Dave McIntire and his wife--encouraged the girl to keep reading and finish her poem. She did.
When she sat down, someone near her said, "It will get easier."
To be honest in the best way, first-timers tend to invariably receive good treatment and support when they take the open mike at poetry readings of all types in the Southern California area. And it is something to be commended.
But I write a blog called POETRY-ARTS CONFIDENTIAL. And I feel that the biggest part of my job is to be a disinfectant when certain poets and/or poetry cliques become too self-important, fatuous, pompous and restrictive to relative newcomers and veterans alike.
I'm confident that the teenage girl will write some excellent poetry of her own.
My hope is that she'll get a chance to put together a first feature sooner than later--and not have to wait her turn for years while MFA-degree holders, Pushcart Prize winners, editors of "au courant" literary magazines and small presses are favored by certain poetry hosts.
Is that too much to hope for her?