People don’t say it as much now, but it used to be there was an open mic and then a feature reading, and usually they had like — everybody read for an hour and you’d sign up. And it meant that you were just kind of auditioning for the role of a poet or just needing to read stuff out loud or whatever. And there’s a whole — I mean I write about it in Inferno. There’s a whole world of these people that go to all the open mics in New York for years, because that’s the only way they can get to read. And then if you’re any good, the person who runs the series says, “Would you like to do a feature reading?”


So, my first feature reading was CBGB’s.1 So, at that time, there was like an open mic, and there was another lousy scene full of good and bad poets, and then there was me. And I think it was at the time when punk was starting to come to CBGB’s and Patti Smith was doing her first set and stuff. So, it was a big deal.

  1. Start On Guitar, Veracious Listeners []
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