Rapp Saloon Poetry Reading Review

Went to a reading at Rapp Saloon in Santa Monica last night. It's just around the corner from Tanner's, where I'll be reading tonight, but it's surprisingly hard to find. It's one room in a youth hostel, and the front door to the room is locked -- you have to avoid the obvious white door and go through the hostel's main entrance -- or stand there looking through the white doorway like an idiot while rattling the locked door handle, as I did. Rapp Saloon is hosted by Pete Justus and Gary Justice (no relation). Pete apparently does most of the bookings, while Gary acts as MC. It was a pretty solid night of poetry. After spending three hours with Barbara yesterday working on my pieces, and one hour working on just one of her pieces, I felt a strong urge to edit other people's poetry. There were a lot of poems last night that were good, but could have been great with a little cutting.

I did notice one odd thing -- the male-female ratio in that room was way off. There were three, maybe four women there compared to around 20 men. That's very different from the normal ratio at poetry readings, and I'm not sure why. It lent the room somewhat of a testosterone-tinged atmosphere -- not obnoxious, but definitely detectable. Another strange thing about the room is that no obscenity is allowed -- you're not supposed to cuss. I find that very strange for a poetry reading. The reasoning is apparently that there are many young people in the hostel who shouldn't be exposed to foul language. I find that even stranger -- in my experience, most of the people in a hostel are over 18, and already have a fair command of scatological language.

I read "Coffee Is For Closers," "I Write," "The God Man Says," and "Guanajuato." "Coffee Is For Closers" went over pretty well, and "I Write" got a great reaction. The other two pieces didn't seem to reach people.

Added a search engine to the website today. If you want to find out who's been mentioned in one of my poems or in this blog, the search engine can tell you. The index is only updated once a week, so it won't find the most recent stuff, but it's still a great resource, and it's free.

I'll be spending the rest of my day working on my set for tonight, so no more website updates. Tomorrow I'll try to add the poems I read last night and the poems I will read tonight.