It ain't a reading unless . . .

. . . someone walks out. And someone DID walk out of Patrick Rosal's reading. In fact, they walked out of the reading seven lines into the first poem.

I've been battling these "easily-offended" types who keep returning to the reading series I'm currently running. Why they return, I'll never know. Anyway, this is directed towards the man who gave me suggestions on how to run the reading series:

My co-coordinator and I have decided that despite your recommendations, we will continue to have readings by authors who are Black, Gay, Chicano, Asian, Jewish, Native American, Risk-Takers, Mayhem-Makers, and Outsiders. We will also happily invite people who write poems and stories where there is sadness, violence, grief, death, general discomfort. We regret that we cannot provide you a solid venue for your anesthetized version of entertainment, but we can recommend a decent pediatric office where you can read Highlights and spend hours on end circling the hidden items in the "Find the Hidden Objects!" page.

I have no interest in playing Muzak over the loud-speakers for an hour for the benefit of said "easily-offended" types.

Now. . . disclaimer aside, Patrick rocked. The students loved him and many of them walked away excited about poetry. You should've seen the line of folks anxious to speak with him after his reading. The audience did sing-alongs and hooted and hollered after almost every poem.

Good show, brother!

Oliver de la Paz