Monday, January 23, 2012

Intimate and intoxicating

It's funny -- with my Santa Fe reading, I arrived right as it started, so I avoided that edgy nervousness that always happens when I arrive early, can't relax my body, can't really talk about anything, keep rushing to the bathroom to shit. I don't know what it is really -- I'm not worried that I'll fuck up, really, so what is it exactly? Maybe I am worried that I'll fuck up, somewhere deep down that's very physical, instinctual or something -- I know I worry about whether people will show up, whether it will be packed, that sort of thing.

People do show up, it's a great crowd, really varied, and they actually sell out the book again -- two in a row, this doesn't usually happen. I also have to say that I'm really excited that fags are showing up -- I was a little worried that I would be on tour for this book called Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?, and there wouldn't be any faggots in the room -- since, for my last book tour, the audience was overwhelmingly dykes, queer women, trans guys, people on the transmasculine spectrum, and then a few fags thrown in for good measure -- which makes sense because my politics come from those cultures. But this book, of course is for fags -- for everyone else too, but especially for fags -- and so I might get kind of depressed if there weren't fags in the audience. Thankfully, that hasn't been the case -- I think press coverage really helps to bring gay men out for the events. One person wrote to me about driving in his car from Cathedral City to LA, hearing me on the radio at heading right over to Stories to buy a copy. Someone else in the audience last night told me how he was in the Gay Liberation Front in LA in the '70s, and he heard me on the radio and thought yes, this is what I've been thinking for all these years and finally someone is saying it!

And then all my friends, writing colleagues, my sister, people who have read my books in college, younger and older queers rounding out the audience to make it intimate and intoxicating at once. The store had a great microphone also -- that's certainly not always the case. I wish wish wish, though, that they had a podium of some sort -- without one, ended up holding the book with my hands for way too long oh no pain pain pain pain pain but I have my feldenkrais CDs, listened to one last night right before bed and I think that really helped. For some reason, whenever I call feldenkrais practitioners in LA, they don't call me back. I would love to see one, that's for sure, but I guess for now I'll stick with my CDs, and hope that I can avoid a pain catastrophe.

I have another event today, and then I go to Claremont later in the week -- here are the details for the next two events:

University of Southern California
VCK 100
Monday, January 23, 5 pm
Los Angeles, CA

Claremont Colleges
Scripps College, Balch Auditorium
Thursday, January 26
7 pm doors, 7:30 pm talk
Reception and book signing to follow in the Hampton Room above Scripps Dining Hall
Claremont, CA

Oh -- and, apparently there's been a bit of controversy at USC about my use of the word faggot -- I wonder what will transpire...


Anonymous said...

Sounds so wonderful. All my best to you on your tour. Listening to the radio show as I write this. Any plans on coming east for a reading? Got to get the book asap. Love to you sweetheart. Great work you are doing with this. Keep up the good fight.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you so much, Richard-- I can't wait to hear what you think of the book!

And, I don't think I'm coming to the East Coast anytime too soon (not on this tour)-- my health is so precarious, I think I have to save my energy -- but, certainly at some point!

Love --

Wil Lake said...

You are coming to this dreaded town,Wahington,D.C. so I can hear and experience some High ART form >>.W

Anonymous said...

Yes, do take care of your health and do save your energy.

I just ordered the book from AK Press. Will push it some more on furbirdsqueerly. It seems like forever to hear folks say things like your saying. Its been so lonely.

Most of all have fun, fun, fun.

Love and hotness


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Wil, eventually I will be in that dreaded town, but unfortunately not on this particular tour -- high art for the future!

And, thank you, Richard -- in just a few minutes I leave for my event at USC, where I get to find out about all this controversy about faggots, should be fun :)

Love --