No one has answered any of the many questions posed in my sestina: am I or am I not sexier than the boyish Brett in The Sun Also Rises? On second thought, don't answer.
I am headed to Vancouver tomorrow. I'm pretty excited. I'm going to eat Indian food and people watch. If I'm lucky, maybe a Famous Writer will buy me a drink. Most likely, I will observe Famous Writers buying drinks for other Soon-to-be-Famous Writers. They will have chat that reads like dust jacket blurbs and they will laugh the laugh of Writers with Agents. I will observe with envy as I sip my knock-off glamour drink and compose (in my mind) poems worthy of Bukowski. I will take up chain smoking and Scotch (I'm part Scottish you know) and slurred words and crude invective. Nothing will approach the glory of my first AWP (D.C., 1997) when Robert Bly rubbed the head of my short, bald friend and I was introduced to Sharon Olds and Galway Kinnell at the same time. And my friend gave a tenner to a guy who asked, just because. It was beautiful. Let me recapture the idealism of that golden moment with this one thought: I will shake the hand of Howard Norman (author of The Bird Artist). I leave you with that.