About the only thing that wasn’t perfect about the Generation X reading at Happy Ending was the microphone, which kept cutting in and out. But the five readers persevered and a great time was had by all.
Halley Feiffer was the first one up, and she performed a poet monologue — meaning she was acting as if she were a poet. It was funny all the way until the end, when it became quite startlingly sad. Which I’m fairly certain is exactly how it was suppose to go. It always amazes me how much physical poise actors have.
Up next was Justin Taylor, who read a great piece from his upcoming collection.
And then it was my turn, and I read an essay that I wrote for the occasion, some Gen-X bits from my novel (the TV shows Three’s Company and Diff’rent Strokes were both in the mix), and finally, a flash fiction piece I wrote for Pindeldyboz.
After a short intermission…
Bianca Stone was up, and although she was frustrated with the projector (it washed out the lighter lines of her comics), it didn’t matter a bit to me, as I was able to see and laugh and appreciate every single one of her poems. She can draw and she can write — as far as I’m concerned, she’s superwoman.
Here’s a picture of April Naoko Heck, who put this entire event together. Another superwoman.
The final reader of the night was Nick Flynn, and boy, he was just dynamite. He read from a variety of works, including a poem that he wrote while listening to Bianca, about the passing of Michael Jackson.
That was the evening, one I won’t soon forget. Before we descended the staircase of the subway station at Delancey and Essex, we heard the song “The Way You Make Me Feel” being blasted from the open windows of a car. A part of me wished we could stay instead of driving back to Jersey, maybe head over to Times Square, since the news of his death was still breaking and if anything significant were to happen, it would be nowhere else but here, the city of cities.
But unlike the King of Pop, we still had things to do and worry about the next day, so we went home. In the car, we hopped from radio station to radio station, listening to Michael Jackson’s music: “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” “Black or White,” “Human Nature,” and about thousand other songs. The man had more hits than Tony Soprano.