Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Party Poet

At a Memorial Day party this weekend, I had the pleasure of being introduced to all of the guests as a poet.
With this honor came great responsibility and a bit of embarrassment, I must admit. I felt like I had to uphold the honor of struggling poets everywhere - give us good PR, you know? At the same time, I had no poems prepared to share with anyone and they all wanted to know what I did "for a living" which - at least by common defininition - is not poetry.

I have always thought that you could tell if someone is an artist just by looking at him. And when I say artist, I mean creative types of all sorts - from painters to dancers to writers to designers. There is just something about the way an artist presents himself in the way he dresses, the way he speaks and most of all the way he socializes.

I've got the dress down for certain, with my fairly ecclectic blend of things borrowed and bought. Yesterday, I wore a thin crinkle skirt with a tank top and a strand of blue Italian glass beads. One of the other guests, who creates her own glass beads admired my necklace, which once belonged to my step-grandma. Unfortunately, this same necklace broke later in the evening. Just my luck.

At the party, we drank wine, which helped the conversation flow, but I found myself repeating the same stories over and over again, in slightly varying degrees. I had invited my boyfriend along with me so we got the repeated "how did you meet?" questioin - which thankfully was an interesting story to begin with, but not so much after the third or fourth telling. Along with that came "where do you live?" and "what do you do for a living?" Pleasant Prairie and data entry. Sometimes I would go into more detail on my living and working arrangements, but found no joy in the details and often tripped over the words. My parents have recently issued the official edict that I must vacate the premisis. And my work is new to me so I don't even know the terminology to talk about it yet.

My boyfriend helped fill in some of the awkward silences when I became tongue tied. He seems to be a bit better at this networking thing than I am. But even he bemoaned the fact that he forgot to bring business cards, a thing that I wouldn't have even considered bringing. It was a party, afterall, and I am a poet, given to whimsical thinking. And generally a lack of planning.

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