Of course, my third visit comes from Leon Hammerhead, who calls me up and takes me out to drinks at the Hofbrau just down the road. He knows all the servers and is surprised to see that I do too. They know Leon’s drink and they know mine, and we slide past the game room back into the guts of the building to what Leon calls “his table.”
He’s telling me stories about a reading series he used to participate in at Bennington, Vermont. “Everybody was there and by everybody I mean everybody,” he says. “Joyce Carol Oates, Galway Kinnell, Stephen Dunn, you name it.”
“Wow,” I say.
“And we had this rule for a while there that you could only read new stuff…” Leon continues.
He’s telling me this because he knows I have a new short-short I’m considering reading, even though I’d already decided on the 35-minute set. Also, I have a writing friend (KL) who always reminds people that he asks his students to take risks and so, he figures, when he gets up to the podium it’s only fair that he himself take some risks as well.
I like where this is going and decide to include one of the newest short-shorts in my reading, thus keeping true to my promise to myself that at least 75% of my reading at Interlochen would be new (since January) material. It was a goal I set for myself and one I’m happy to say I’ve met it. It’s one way I can think of honoring the gift of all this time I’ve been given—to actually get up there and show people a little of what I’ve been doing with that time.
Here’s hoping it all comes together…