Will I be brave?

This is happening tonight:

Downtown Phoenix’s “one chance to shine” open mic is back and will be better than ever!

DID YOU WRITE A NEW POEM OR JOKE OR SONG THIS SUMMER AND NOW YOU NEED SOMEWHERE TO PRACTICE?

From August until April, every Monday at 8pm …just south of Roosevelt on 5th street at Lawn Gnome Publishing, we have poets, emcees, slam poets, comedians, artists, storytellers, ventriloquists, fire performers, burlesque dancers, and underwater basketweaving gracing our humble outdoor stage.

All Pink Slip Open Mics are all-ages and uncensored. Adult themes and language will be present.

First 30 acts to sign up are given priority to perform, so show up early! Every performer gets 5 minutes to make an impression, so make it count!

This ain’t ‘Live at the Apollo’. This is ‘El Pollo Loco’. You have been given the Pink Slip. It is your job to produce. Don’t make us warn you again, Phoenix.

The first one of the year until April. I’m unsure if today is the day I’m going to be brave. It’s just 5 minutes – if I even make the 30 people cut-off. Why is this crap so so scary to me?
I wonder if it’s because poetry was never something I needed to perform, it was a valve to release some internal pressure. It was and is something I need. It’s so close to me (as I’m sure it is with any poet…) that reading them in front of people is literally like stripping.
But I also have a very shy nature and I’d have to climb up onto a stage and even at work I don’t like talking in front of groups of people and it’s going to be 100 degrees at 8 pm tonight and I’m going to sweat my ass off and sweat like a 50 year old bear-man and probably mess up my poems and look like a hot mess. Maybe just go, I keep telling myself, just to check it out. But if I’m already there, I’d have to do it. I would have to.
I woke up nervous today even thinking about this. We don’t have personal training tonight like we usually do on Mondays and maybe it’s the perfect night to be proud of myself.
Plus there’s a bar across the street where I can get a drink or two before … poets are supposed to reek of alcohol in public aren’t they?

This weekend, Pat and I went camping with a coworker of his and her boyfriend. When we got the invite my immediate reaction was “oh thank god.” Because we are both still so lonely for friends and jesus, any time we can get out of the house and not be staring at each other blankly with the Sopranos bashing heads in the background is a great opportunity.
It was so lovely. I took a nap under a glorious cottonwood tree – an old, creaky broad set in her ways – I woke up startled by a warm breeze. Can you think of a better way to wake up from a nap? It was exactly what I needed – to be reminded that I am small, that there is goodness in my life despite that hurts and holes. We are broken down to rebuilt again. We are busy busy ants.

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4 Responses to Will I be brave?

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Well I hope you get your cute busy little ant ass up there and read a poem or two.
    You won’t regret it if you do.

    • rachvb says:

      ugh. UGH. At this moment I feel like I’m chickening out. But maybe once the time comes I’ll find some grain of courage. This is scary shit for me, Ms. Moon!

  2. Dear Rach — do read, do! You will be wonderful and once you’ve done it once you’ll feel the intoxication and will want to do it again. I do hope that as I’m tapping this message you’ve had your two beers at the little place opposite and are readying yourself to step up onto that platform! Sending you courage and love and huge dollop of ‘you’re awesome’-ness xoxoxo

    • rachvb says:

      Claire! You did catch me in time. I’m on beer number one. Just started it actually. And I’m such a nerd that I got here extra early and am the first friggin person to go… A little over zealous much?!
      Thank you, dear. I have your ocean stone with me for good luck 🙂 xoxo

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