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How to Get Kicked Out of a Poetry Reading

A photo essay thingie that really happened.

Don't sit. Stand. Stand a little too close.

Move a little closer.

And closer.

People in the room are getting uncomfortable now. Don't let that bother you -- these literary types, with their beards and sweaters, their geek glasses and copies of their little magazines, spook easy. Stay right where you are. It's just the two of you now, poet a mano.

Do something random but attention-grabbing. Lighting a cigarette will work.

When it's all over, approach the microphone, insist on "sharing your words." They will start to smile defensively now, these literary men in beards. You've got them just where you want 'em.

Get all confused and angry. Keep on saying "I just want to share my words." Make a fuss. Literary men in beards hate a fuss.

Eventually they will kick you out. Stumble down the street. Perhaps the karaoke bar blasting the Kelly Clarkson song will let you share your words. For now, the Barrelhouse editors cross their arms over their massive, typing-enhanced chests and say, "I pity the fool that messes with the Barrelhouse launch party."


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