Sunday, January 18, 2009

Charles Bernstein is sitting at one end of a subway car, preparing to do a reading to be heard by the four or five other people in the car, one of whom is myself. Bernstein speaks a few words in introduction, and perhaps launches into the beginning of the first poem he'd like to read, when he is interrupted by an altercation between myself and a tall young man sitting somewhat near to me. This man, wearing a spiffy black coat, speaks of the food debris (bread crumbs?) and shards of glass near him on the subway bench, and accuses me of being responsible for this. He says that just because I am not a "popular person", that doesn't justify my making his environment degrading and dangerous--accusing me, thus, of acting out of bitterness. Bernstein, understandably disturbed by the interruption, walks off and finds a place to sit and continue reading two cars down. But his words nevertheless are piped into the car where the four or five of us are each fixed/rooted to our initial positions.

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