I'm waiting at SFO for Hugh & Mary's delayed plane to arrive. Finally have a few moments to write about AWP.
Since I've been critical in the past, I should say that the conference itself was much better organized than in years past. Things I liked: 1. The bookfair being in one room--this should be mandatory for any upcoming venue. 2. The thin supplement that I could carry to find tables and panels, instead of having to lug that heavy catalogue. 3. The bag. Sure, I didn't use it at the bookfair, but I also didn't leave it in my hotel room like I did last year.
I only walked out of one panel for suckiness. Technically I walked out of two, but the second (Johannes' & Jenny Boully's immigrant poetry panel) was because I had a coughing fit. I got some tea and returned for the end.
As for Denver, I liked the city itself, the people were really cool, but could not hack the altitude, or the dry air. Maybe I couldn't hack being so close to heaven, breathing in all that spirit. I took very good care of myself, I drank lots of water, ate regularly, drank little alcohol, slept a lot. And I was still sick the entire time, getting worse everyday, my legs covered in rashes, continually coughing up blood, nose bleeds--my voice weakening. As I sit here in San Francisco I already feel a thousand times better and that's coming straight off an airplane.
I'm sorry, but if you're ever having a wedding or party in Denver, don't bother inviting me, cause I'm not coming.
That's what kind of dampened my experience. I couldn't really communicate, at least not to the level that I usually do. It hurt to talk. So if you met me and was disappointed or thought I was abrupt or dismissive, my apologies. It was not my best game.
By noon on Saturday I completely lost my voice, didn't try to meet up with anyone for lunch, instead went to my room, ordered room service and sulked for a couple hours until I went Barbara Jane & Oscar's panel on poetry communities.
That said, I feel remarkably not depressed like I usually do after AWP. I appreciated the mellowness of this one. Very little drama--aside from the car accident that I was in on Thursday night. Major judgement lapse. Instead of calling a cab after the Cooper Dillon/Bloof/Noemi reading, I clown-carred it with 6 other poets. I sat on Jill's lap. We were all gigging how we haven't piled into a car like this since high school. Then we got hit by an airport shuttle. Slow speed. The car was damaged, but we were all fine.
I prayed a lot at AWP. I prayed for my voice for the Meadowlark reading. Thursday night I prayed gratitude that my dumb asssness didn't lead me into any serious harm. I mean, can you imagine if THAT was how I died? Like a god damn, idiot high schooler?
I'd never forgive myself.