So my publisher set me up with Laura Lush.
And she was dream date/co-reader. She filled the room with her friends and colleagues, she used ACTUAL REFERENCES TO MY POEMS in her introduction, and then she took me home to Guelph.
I will always remember tearing across Union Station, laden down with my bags, following Laura, who was deathly afraid of missing the night train to Guelph.
Her arms were full of flowers, of course. From her friends and colleagues, who laughed and sighed and bought out Toronto Women's Bookstore's cache of recent Palimpsest titles.
After we filled ALL of Laura's vases with flowers, I slept on the floor of her office, under a GG poster from the year her Hometown was nommed, her computer behind me, her bookshelves to one side.
All good sleepy-time influences, to my mind...and I slept very well.
* * *
Between our trainward sprint and our reading, Laura and her friends and my friend Red and I went down the street to a bistro. Red proceeded to trade me a copy of How to Prepare for Flooding for half a bottle of cava, which we drank over platters of frog's legs and smoked fish.
It had been nearly 15 years since Red and I had seen each other, but it was if no time had passed at all.
Except we both kind of sort of look like adults now.
* * *
There are lots of reasons to write but sometimes, publishing and attempting to get word out about the thing you've published can be humbling. Especially if you're publishing poetry.
And I understand. You win people over to poetry one person at a time, one poem at a time...but even so, it can be disheartening. So much work for so little (apparent) effect!
Which is why readings like this are like humbugs: you can savour them a long time.
Thanks to Laura for her generosity and her poems. Thanks for TWB for the venue and the pre-reading tea.
Finally, thanks to Dawn from Palimpsest for the blind date!