My fifteen minutes of fame, like everything else, is subject to inflation over the years. I get twenty to twenty-five minutes in the spotlight next Wednesday night at Maxine’s in Hot Springs to read my poetry as the “Feature Poet.” And, there’s food in the deal! Maxine’s will give me a complimentary pizza of my choice, plus two drinks (some brands are excluded, I’m told, so there’s a limit to the value of my fame).
The email to the writers’ club president from the organizers emphasized that I should plan on twenty to twenty-five minutes of reading my poetry. I have enough material to fill the time, provided I do not lapse into nerve-induced speed-speak. I need more practice, which ensures I’ll have something to do this weekend. Plus, I need to rework some material; one of my longer poems, a piece I really like, is too long. I’ve timed it at five and a half minutes; I understand three minutes is the point at which the audience begins to lose interest.
Yesterday afternoon, as I read one of my poems aloud, I thought I should have committed each of them to memory. Even reading, I occasionally stumble over a word. It’s too late to do that now, though, but not too late to get better at reading.
Regardless of being a bit nervous, I’m planning on having fun with this.