This morning I went to a craft talk given author Thomas Glave at the Loft in Minneapolis. When I won Honorable Mention in the Mentor Series, I received the invitation to attend these craft talks throughout the year.
I must have been nervous. I didn't feel nervous, but my behavior suggests it. Consider:
1. I woke up at 7am on a Saturday. I didn't need to wake up until probably 8:30 or so.
2. I was at the Loft by 7:55am. This means that I woke up, showered, got ready to go and drove to Minneapolis in under an hour. I also stood in my kitchen and drank a glass of orange juice before I left. Apparently I was on fast forward this morning.
The biggie, though, is number 3.
3. When we began the talk, everyone went around and introduced themselves. We had to say two things: our name and our genre. I had to say "Kelly Flanigan, Fiction." What came out, though, I shit you not, was "Kelly Flanigan, Poetry."
I haven't written a poem in close to twenty years. I heard myself say this and then paused before adding "and fiction." I had time to do this because my friend Heather was to my left and she was as surprised as I was at my identifying myself as a poet.
It's very weird to be outside of your head. The word "poetry" never passed through my mind, it came from somewhere else. I heard myself say it along with everyone else, and the voice I heard sounded different and louder than my name. I'm glad apparently "poetry" is what is running in my subconscious rather than "animal sex" "penis" or "I love porn."