Damn It!

Sat in on my first poetry reading today.
Since college, that is.
Of course, I sat in the back.
Watching.
Learning.
Scared to death for all Poets.
Only fifteen of them.
The African American was phenomenal.
His deep voice calling me in.
As if saying, Audrey, join them.
Open mic, yes, it was time.
Nerves shot, don’t call for mine.
No one forced.
Each one took a turn.
Audrey clapped.
Audrey laughed.
Audrey shed her tears.
Silently.
Show them who you are, darling.
I whispered to myself.
My voice already shaking.
Lack of confidence, maybe.
But I’ll do anything in full view.
Play a part.
Smile my smile.
Sing a song.
Laugh til it drives you wild.
Share myself?
My poetry?
My soul?
Who I am?
Exactly.
I just couldn’t.
I didn’t.
Leaving again.
Unworthy.
Damn it!

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58 thoughts on “Damn It!

  1. No. Not unworthy. Next time, think.What’s the worst that can happen? OK, so they may not like your reading. But it’s not about them. It’s about what moves you.

    • Then why does it seem to matter so much? What they think, that is. I actually don’t think I care, but it’s obvious I do in some way. I shouldn’t. I need to remember that it is about what moves me, you’re correct. I also needed to hear that it is okay that they don’t like my reading.

    • It matters, Audrey, because we all want to feel accepted; especially if we were raised by parents who gave the impression that we could do nothing right. If we developed that mind set, then we tell ourselves that we don’t care, but deep down we long for approval.

      On the idea of it being OK for them to not like your reading, Neil go I (yes, the singer) once said that all he wants from an audience is a reaction, whether it’s, “I loved it,” or, “I hated it,” or, “He moved me.” He said that it was that reaction that kept him going. And he’s right. The worst audience is one that sits passively with no emotion.

      The thing is, unless they are paying you as a professional entertainer, they are unlikely to boo you off the stage! The reality is that your poetry is more likely to draw a positive response. And even if they don’t like it then you will be able to put the worry of not knowing behind you and move on. Edith way, you have a community of bloggers who really appreciate your poetic baring of your heart and soul.

    • I appreciate you walking me through these feelings I have, Michael. I think I was just born with the need to please. Probably a needy child who annoyed the tar out of them as I looked for attention. A true actor even back then.

      I think you’re right. I do believe that 100%! Thank you for reminding me how much passivity is loathed. I much prefer a negative reaction to none. This is a huge realization for me. Thanks to you…once again. I adore you.

      Thank you for this last paragraph full of love. I am humbled by you.

  2. One of my favorite John Lennon quotes: “When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps…” Your poems are beautiful…so find that great voice you have inside and let it ring (or shrill) out your words πŸ™‚

    • Okay. This made me cry, Photographer. What a beautiful quote. Thank you for sharing it with me. He’s right, isn’t he? It also seems like something you’d say…
      Thank you for lifting me up tonight. I appreciate you so very much. I thought of you after I let that moment pass me by…I let yuan-fen down.

      Good night, my friend.
      Have a wonderful day. ~Audrey πŸ™‚

    • He does have a pretty good way with words and even though I do admire him quite a bit, he was also very much flawed… I was going to say ‘like us all’ but his genius may tip things more his way, yes?!?

      Yuan-fen is the perfect place for that moment…you learn, then continue to move forward πŸ™‚

  3. Awwwww, that must have been difficult. I hear you though. It can be so difficult opening up and sharing what comes from you. Risking rejection. Listening to the lies in your head telling you your not good enough. Maybe next time.
    πŸ™‚

  4. Sounds like an enjoyable experience … well, except for the stage fright. It will come in time. Thanks for sharing this Audrey. πŸ™‚

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