i read things and other people read things and then there was electronic music

So I just got back from reading at Cheryl's Gone. I have already talked about the before. So this, I guess, is a simple report on how everything went.

So Big Bear Cafe is very nice to let us read there. It is a small cafe sort of shop thing with cafe sort of chairs and all of that. Wade set up the little area with seats and tables facing a podium sort of thing and a mic/PA system. Jeff Bagato set up his sound equipment behind that. 

A lot of people showed up? I was surprised. I did not expect that many people to show up for some reason.

The reading was very fun. I was very nervous and could not pick a story to read. I had three newish stories that I wrote a few months ago and have been revising sort of off and on. They all were pretty short, maybe a little over 3,000 words, but I could not decide, so my wife picked one for me to read. That was a relief.  The story did not take long to read, I do not think, even though I felt like I was up there for a long time. People laughed during the story, which made me both happy and more nervous; they seemed to like the story, but they also laughed sometimes at places in the story that I did not expect them to laugh, I guess?

Mel Nichols read some flarf poetry from a few journals (I think?) and then read from her chapbook Bicycle Day. She may have read from her other chapbook, but I don't know. Sometimes I did not understand what she was saying between poems; the PA speaker thing distorted quieter voices. But, I laughed a lot during her poetry. It was fun to hear the different combinations of words come together. Also, she read poems about Benjamin Franklin's man boobs.

Jeff Bagato's music was crazy, but in a calmer way than I expected. I mean, it was loud, but it was also calm. He played an electronic drum pad with his right hand, so most of the sounds he made were over of a pretty steady beat. He made sounds with his voice into a mic that was connected to what looked like a series of effects boards, which he messed with. I cannot describe the sounds. Sorry. I was a little disappointed though. I was hoping he would do his 'tone ghosting' stuff. This did not appear to be 'tone ghosting' as there was no saw and vinyl.

DJ Renegade read his poetry off of a little handheld PC thingy. He is also tall. I enjoyed listening to him. His voice is a nice poetry voice, I think.

After the reading, several nice people that I did not know came up and said that they liked my story. One man in a suit said that he was learning to be a 'stylist' and that he wanted to talk to me about my syntax. I think this is what he said. He repeated a quotation by some author about vowells and consonants, but I cannot remember what author he was quoting. Then I said something about how the study of grammar had shifted from the Latin-based understanding (ie, parts of speech) to a more structural/transformational approach due to linguistic research in the early 20th century. I have no idea what he was talking about, to be honest, and I actually have no idea what I was talking about either. Nor do I know why I said what I said. We did not seem to communicate well and I had trouble hearing him.

I met a girl coming into the program at Mason, so we talked a little bit about the program.

I met two writers from the program at Arizona who had recently moved to DC. They had worked on Sonora Review last year, the year before Astrid started editing the fiction, so that was nice to talk about that.

Another person asked me if I had a book. I said no. He said he hoped I would have one soon. He asked if I said I had a website. I said no, I have a blog. He said okay.

I drank two Miller High Life beers.

Thank you, friends who are reading this, for coming. Sorry that Adam and Joe couldn't make it due to traffic issues from the O's game letting out (O's beat Houston 7-5, it looks like).

Thank you, Wade, for setting this up and inviting me to read.