So a poet I respect (have known him since 1998) wrote something like this on the Two Idiots Peddling Poetry Ugly Mug reading last night:
Cool reading! I enjoyed myself.
And I was tempted to write this on his Facebook wall, but, instead, am posting it here:
It's a cool reading if you're allowed in. After 12 years of being barred, perhaps I should be able to read posts like this without feeling any emotions whatsoever. But I have the mark of Cain still upon me and people will still go and enjoy and think of their own enjoyment and not pay attention to anything I write.
In theory, I shouldn't care one way or another about this--and should have stopped thinking about the ban after it happened in 2004.
But it's still a reminder of the days when I got along and went along with the majority of poets in the community.
Also, it shows the essential fragility of poet-to-poet relationships. You can make one mistake. But if that mistake is a Big Public Error, then goodwill instantly stops--and it's as though you never knew the other person at all and no support/nothing good you've done for him in the past counts for anything.
Over the years, I've thought out loud on this incident here. Sometimes with anger. Other times, I've asked for forgiveness.
At this point, I'm resigned to knowing it's somewhere I'm eternally not allowed into.
And aware that people I like continue to go to the reading and are entertained by it/receive approval from the audience of poets/Chapman students.
Also, doubly aware that the people I like who attend the reading probably share this sentiment:
YOUR BAN IS YOUR PROBLEM, NOT OURS! GET OVER IT!
Therefore, I need to learn to be completely desensitized when people post laudatory messages and photos on Facebook of their moments of glory in a coffeehouse in the city of Orange CA.