I get shouted out . . .

. . . here on the Poetry Foundation website. Thank you, Rigoberto!


So it happened. The most embarassing thing ever at a reading. This Tuesday at the Hugo House, Crab Creek Review held its journal launch reading (lovely, by the way).

I'm up there, reading my poem and then an eardrum shattering beep erupted. And then another. And then another. Meanwhile, I'm trying to slog through this last poem while the beeping continues. I see someone get up out of the corner of my eye, and leave the room. I finish. I sit down. That someone who left the room comes back with my bag. MY BAG. My freaking cell phone rang in the middle of my own reading. . .

. . .

And then, the next reader came up to read. So, I'm leaning back in my chair while the other poet's reading. And then something else happened. No, not the phone.

Coins start falling out of my pocket and rolling on the hardwood floor. You know the loud coin that rolls and rolls and never stops? Those were my coins.

Nightmare. Big big nightmare.

So, if you're reading this, Jenifer, thank you for grabbing my bag and diffusing the situation. And thank you to the woman who stopped some of my coins from continuing to roll. And thank you Crab Creek Review . . . I promise to be less disruptive next time. And thank you, Hugo House, for having such shiny floors and such echoey reading spaces.

Oliver de la Paz