I haven't yet wrote about my visit to Hobart and William Smith Colleges last week. It was a really happy, pleasant experience. So far every college visit I've done has always been positive. I am always treated well, but HWS treated me very well. Plus there was a good turn out for the pizza social and a large turnout for my reading. AND the students asked a lot of questions.
One amusing (to me at least) highlight was at the pizza social. I was sitting at a table with Karl Parker and 20 students, eating pizza, chatting about poetry, publishing, all the stuff I love to talk about. About 45 minutes into the discussion a student asked, "What exactly is it that you do?"
I said, "Oh, did you just come in?" He said no, he'd been there the whole time. There was a hushed, sort of oh-oh, response from the rest of the students cause I just spent 45 minutes chatting about publishing Karl's book, managing No Tell Motel, writing poems, etc. But I certainly wasn't offended. I said, "Oh, you're just like my dad. He asks me that same question several times a year" and I explained the stuff that a poet, editor and publisher does. Again.
There are certain things in life I've made peace with.
Having to explain, repeatedly, what I do, is one of my lots in life.
Good thing I really enjoy talking about myself.
When I visit colleges to speak as a poet, a poet who doesn't teach, some students see me as a curiosity, like I just whipped out a tail. In many cases, the only poets they've ever met are their teachers and often they see their teachers as teachers first, poets somewhere after that. That is if they bother to think that much about it at all.
So don't feel bad, Dad. You're not the only person puzzled by my existence.
Another funny highlight is that when everyone left after my reading, I noticed that there were 4 less books than what was paid for. Nobody was watching the table, there was a sign that said $10, it was mentioned in my introduction and some people did find and give me money, so I'm not sure exactly what happened. The faculty were aghast, but I thought it was pretty cool. Four kids in the audience thought I was so awesome and they wanted my books so badly that they stole them!
I'm a hit with the youth!
Watch out Bukowski!
Or at least that was my fantasy until Rauan disabused me of that ridiculous notion.
"You don't really think they took your books to read, do you? I bet those books are already for sale on Amazon."
Rauan Klassnik is the world's BIGGEST parade pisser.