I seriously thought the reading was Thursday. I happened to check social media and discovered that I was two-days wrong about that. I had, however, after the botched reading in Seattle, revamped the plan. I condensed and consolidated things, meaning the material I would read would capture the spirit of A Northern Spring more so than its verbatimness. Again, I thought, This must be what novelists do—what they learn to do early on. Aside from a prose paragraph that I'd accidentally pasted twice into my reading sheets (when I started reading it, what first must have seemed like intentional repetition to the both the audience and me was quickly unmasked as unintentional deja vu, and I apologized, and meta-like explained exactly what had happened with my two reading plans to date), things went according to plan. I have started to read primarily from printed 8x11 sheets instead of from the book itself, as doing allows for me to read the condensing and consolidating smoothly. I go back to my damaged—my prematurely aged—reading copy for a poem or two when it works.
This reading was for Rick (Richard Robbins) a kind of living legacy. He had been an MFA professor and mentor to me, Ben, Christina, and four others in attendance—seven total of his flock. The evening came full circle when we returned to the bar where I'd purchased the cookies for after-reading food, drinks, and fellowship. Also in attendance at the after meet-up were two colleagues of mine from Normandale CC—one a longtime former hallmate—who knew Christina from their time at Mankato. I do kind of love when the "it's a small world" cliché lets us know that clichés are clichés because at core, in there well-trod hearts, they hold a truth.