Last night I made my way over to the Ugly Mug's poetry night to hear my poetry friend John Buckley give his farewell reading. John is an obsessive writer. During the open portion of the Mug's readings, he constantly scribbles notes, listing who read, how many poems, titles, and how long each person took at the mic. These he has posted on his poetry blog, which I have never visited, but knew of as a sort of treasure trove of information about poets and would-be poets in Orange County and thereabouts.
John is funny and gifted. His readings resemble nothing so much as a one-act play or stand up routine. He writes obsessively, and lately, much of what he sends out has been accepted. He brought with him last night a few copies of a tiny chapbook, small enough to fit in one palm. I didn't get a copy, but Robin has one, so I will have a look at it. He also read with his collaborator on a long book-length poem that will soon be published. His energy and humor will be missed at the Mug and elsewhere.
I didn't mention that it is his successes that are taking him from Orange County: though he has a couple of degrees, he is going to the U of Michigan to their MFA program, where he hopes to take a break from teaching for a little while and work on another book.
I wasn't feeling all that well last night. But I wasn't going to miss this reading after I had not been able to make it to his others, which were too far afield, in Long Beach. Though I had to leave early, I was glad to be there, and hope to return soon, to announce my featured reading in Riverside, on July 14, at the Arlington branch of the Riverside Public Library.