this was for a couple of reasons. i got to see the effect the poetry had on people, which is a very powerful thing for me. i got to talk with them directly, and hear what they wanted to say in return. but also, i didn't always simply read. i liked to move, sing--especially Irish traditional music--act out certain parts, very occasionally shout, use props or electronic music--whatever a piece required. often when i would read several pieces together they were linked into a single performance.
i got used to getting a strong response from audiences--generally positive. this was a pleasant elixir indeed. so imagine my surprise when one time we did an afternoon of horror and the response i got from the audience was absolute silence. and a rather uncomfortable one, i thought.
vampires got laughs, ghouls got gasps--what did i do wrong?
well, i got into my role too much for my audience, i think. i asked myself, what is truly horrifying to me? and it came up easily--child abuse. so i wrote several pieces, set to my brother's electronica, about the horror of child abuse. well, people don't really like or know what to do with that.
an interesting experiment.
from time to time i did send things out for publication, though. one went from the magazine i sent it to to their online site, where it remains years later. it's called "Skeleton Dance" :
i sent "Skeleton Dance" to the now deceased magazine Obsidian--ah! what a beautiful magazine that was! you can see my poem at:
--and navigate from there to what remains of the magazine online at: