I really enjoy doing readings, especially if the book's new. There are always a few "oops" moments--why did I use that word?and now it's published so I can only change it here, at this reading. But the "oopses" are (at least with this book) few and far between. In the three years it took to find a publisher I was able to clean things up, and PM provided a good editor.
Five readings in five nights in NYC--mornings spent at a rather boring and under attended Book
Expo, the publisher's/bookseller's trade show. End of the industry and blah blah blah. Hope not, since bookselling still pays the rent, but I got sick of hearing it from the "suits", people from the big houses who publish mostly crap anyway. America isn't a reading country, never was, and now that readership is split between screen and book...of course business is down. I think the Indies will be the last to die--bookstores and publishers--because they cater to people who really care about books, language, culture. In a country that is made up mostly of morons, it's a small audience--but enough to keep quality publishers/stores afloat. I hope.
Readings were great fun--except perhaps the Bowery Poetry Club, where I'd expected better attendance. Summer Brenner is a great writer with an especially good book, and she reads beautifully. I tried to counter her reading, which was serious noir, with a few jokes. My new novel is kind of a clown act anyway, my secret (now not so secret) homage to Terry Southern--a satire that (I hope) fights absurdity (of the American corporate structure) with absurdity.
I heard a few laughs when I read, so I guess the book's working.
New York is always exhausting, in that this-train-that-train-three-dates-a-night-can you be downtown by 2pm--kind of way. Saw Eileen Myles, Jonathan Lethem, Ramsey (lugging my book and Summer's around town. Thank you, Ramsey), Nikki Leger, Independence Hall (read one night in Philly), Dumbo (noisy, but such a view), a great bookstore called Bluestockings. A Chuck Close show in Chelsea, couple hours in MOMA...well, it was New York.
And next week is the homecoming, reading at Moe's where I spend at least 32 hours a week, then at City Lights, inspiration for poets/writers/troublemakers/beatniks.
Also confirmed a date to read with Eileen Myles at Books & Bookshelves August 18th--a chance to read some poetry--and a little from the novel.
what I'm reading: Call It Thought by Stephen Rodefer, Hylozoic by Rudy Rucker, What You Have Left by James Sallis. Rereading Banshee by Margaret Millar.