Last Night I Did a Poetry Reading in an Alternate Dimension & It Sucked

Last night I did a poetry reading in an alternate dimension and it sucked. The reading was alphabetical so I was supposed to read first. My wife, Faith Fairhead, was reading fifth. Faith was a buttercream blonde. I was like Look at my hot bitch. I felt entitled to act like a dirty dog, because I was a girl and it seemed cute. It wasn’t cute.

As a result of my attitude, the universe swapped my hot wife for a husband, Gerald Ford, who made me very late for the reading. He had to run a lot of errands. I was like Gerald! No Whole Foods! Not now!

I couldn’t figure out what outfit to wear. My mother appeared in a sheep’s head to tell me that leather leggings were very last year. I wore them anyway. What did being a year late have to do with poetry? Maybe nothing.

The reading was at Slimey’s, a deli that specialized in hot pastrami and doubled as an ampitheater. Immediately I knew the leather leggings were a mistake. Everybody was wearing jeans with alt sneakers or velvet boho capes or they were nude.

Everybody was talking about Purple Pinko’s forthcoming trilogy of military flash fiction, FMP. I didn’t know what FMP stood for but I knew it was something cool, like Stephen Dorff’s SFW. I felt about Purple Pinko the way I felt about Stephen Dorff in the 90s. I longed.

Longing is wonderful, because you don’t have to be present for your life—in any dimension. I knew I shouldn’t indulge these feelings. I knew I should be present. I was like How am I supposed to stop thinking about Purple Pinko if his work is everywhere? It seemed like a conspiracy.

I wasn’t allowed to bring paper into the new dimension so I had to memorize everything. I’d memorized nothing. I made up the poems as I went along. One of the poems was called “Colorado.” It was in first person present and it went like this:


I want to be a zombie but the cult won’t click.
I’m in it for a brain belt though I’m bad with unity.
We shoot up with pine needles, only vanilla.
This leaves a hole I cover in postage stamps.
I can’t find the horses and I can’t find the horses.
We go see the world record velvet Elvis.
They do a slideshow of his sandwiches.
Everybody liked him better alive.

It didn’t matter that the poem sucked, because the microphones were broken. This lent itself to simultaneous feelings of Sisyphusian something and liberation.

Following my reading was a reading by a naked girl. She read microfiction while a Haitian man vomited and vomited into a bowl next to her. Vomit is always great. The crowd went wild. I wish I invented that performance art.

A journalist from The Star Daily Star asked if he could take my picture. All the velvet boho capes were watching me and they mouthed C-O-R-P-O-R-A-T-E. Not one to turn down interstellar publicity, I posed.

The journalist was like You won a big prize this year. How does that feel?

I was like No. No prize.

He was like Then where have I heard of you from?

I was like You’ve heard of me from nothing. You’ve heard of me from the air.

One Response to “Last Night I Did a Poetry Reading in an Alternate Dimension & It Sucked”

  1. I hate when the microphones are broken and you have to revert to performance art.

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Milk Fed


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The Pisces


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Last Sext


So Sad Today


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–Publishers Weekly

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Meat Heart


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"With a title recalling Yeats...Broder risks the divine in her second book...shrewd, funny, twisted, sad poems..."
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Melissa Broder's Book Cover


“This debut from Broder is as funny and hip as it is disturbing… a bright and unusual debut.”
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"…obsessive, energetic and pop-culture-infused poetry…"
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–The San Francisco Examiner

"Broder’s verse is acrobatic and whip-smart… its own creature."