So I launched Hump a year ago today.
And I'm convinced that the reason that THAT reading went well - and that the 18 other readings I did from this book this year mostly went well - was because of my "system."
Which mostly involves a stack of bookmarks for Tracy Hamon's Interruptions in Glass, advertising the tour we went on last spring...and a quiet half-hour before each reading.
I would find somewhere quiet to sit and think about the reading that night: who the audience would be, how long I was slated to read...and which poems I had a hankering to read.
And I would write the names of the poems I wanted to read and their page number and sometimes even how long each poem was on the back of the bookmark. And then I tucked it in the book.
Somehow, knowing that I had Tracy close to me helped. Knowing I had a plan, even if I deviated from the plan during the reading itself, helped.
So it became my little superstition.
I keep all the bookmarks in a drawer of my desk, the blank ones and the used ones. And it has been very satisfying, over the course of this year, to see them accumulate.
(I still have an impressive stack of blank ones, though I imagine that I will be doing fewer readings now that Hump is sort of...long in the tooth.)
Thanks to everyone who supported me this year. And thanks, specifically, to Tracy. And to Coteau, for providing me with the means for my strange little ritual.