Monday, March 11, 2013


…This is a post about anything but writing or writers, though those things do figure into the mix in the same way that sweat is an inevitable byproduct of hardy exercise…

…It’s very difficult to characterize an event as massive and daunting as AWP.  It’s hard to have an appropriate reaction.  One might as well try describing what an orgasm feels like, having to do  so without being able to use clichéd words like “flushed,” “euphoria,” “climax,” “it was a kind of rapture, a second coming,” “inflamed loins,” “panting,” “dilated,” “erratic thrusting,” etc…

…There were hordes and hordes of people, writers, 11,000 beings sharing the same oxygen and smells, the undercurrent of misplaced tension wrapped inside the ruddy noise of conversation, every one of us sharing curiosities and ambitions, vulnerabilities and silly giddiness, all the while trying to look at ease, attempting to appear engaged, anything, really, other than overwhelmed and foolish.

It’s a difficult concept to get your arms around, isn’t it?—that so many people share your dream, that they are willing to attain their dream without expecting riches in return--or in many cases—payment of any kind.  
Who does that?
Who besides a dreamer, a fool, an artist, or maybe Jesus?

I met people I’d wanted to meet for some time—Joseph Quintela, Christopher Allen, Lily Hoang, Jessica Keener, Gay Degani, Alex Pruteanu, Eryk Wenziak, Pat Pajolus, Gessy Alvarez, Laura Bogart, Timothy Gager, Angela Wooward, Jodi Paloni, Antonia Crane…and so many more that I can’t, currently, think of off the top of my head…

There were others I didn’t know I wanted to meet but was damn lucky I did meet—Karen Stefano and Michael Maxwell, for example.

I saw friends I knew and know and people that I love and revere—Meg Tuite, Robert Vaughan, Ken Robidoux, Sara Lippmann, Janee Braugher,  xTx, Bill Yarrow, Ben Tanzer, Helen Vitoria, Jane Carman, Gloria Mindock, Brandi Wells…

I ate and drank and laughed and--I'll admit it-- I even cried—sometimes from joy, once in a while because what I heard was the verbal equivalent of watching a child die….

I was told secrets—deep, dark, one-of-a-kind secrets (although there are really no such things) and I even shared secrets of my own, and in doing so, I felt not relieved or in any way paroled, but rather I felt completely gifted by the listener’s mercy and grace, their kind and unwavering attention….

…There are times in our lives where we feel as close to fully-formed as we will ever be, our essence froth with the giddiness of having discovered a sense of purpose, when it’s like coming upon a door left open for us, cracked just a bit with a blade of light creasing both inward and out, and when we push that door open further, we find how incredibly fortunate we are to walk through it, stumbling into the very crux of who we are and who were really meant to be, stumbling or trotting or skipping through that damn door with our eyes and ears wide open, shouting, “I’m here.  Whatcha got for me?”


  1. Thanks. It was great meeting you too.

  2. Third try at commenting: more brevity now, in case it gets eaten again: brilliant to have met you, Len!!

  3. I adore, admire, and love you! I can't wait until we get to laugh our asses off again.

  4. Timothy, great to see you and to meet your lady. she's a beauty. Alex, i love your big heart. Gessy, i wish we could have chatted some, but at least i got to see you in person. RV, no words for how much i love you.