Poetry open mic at Landmark Booksellers

I’ve been meaning to get out to some open mics and read since we moved to Nashville last summer. When we first got here I googled “open mic” and because this is Nashville, it was endless singer songwriter stuff. I pretty much shrugged and forgot about it. A couple of weeks ago, though, something reminded me and I brushed off my googlefu and found the open mic at Landmark Booksellers in Franklin. I went tonight and read “Larix laricina Anaphora.”

There’s no mic; instead there’s a big square of comfy couches and people sit around and read. They don’t stand, and nobody claps. It’s very low key. A cakewalk, in fact. I had been going regularly to the one at the Barnes and Noble in Concord, and the one at the UU Church in Nashua, when we lived in New Hampshire, and had gotten used to the people who generally showed up at those venues, and so I had forgotten how absolutely terrified I am of these situations. Alan thinks I should get a shirt that says, “Ask me about my social anxiety disorder.” It’s weird though, because I’m absolutely unflappable at work (I work in a hospital, mostly in oncology, and just today one of my doctors told me I’m remarkably self-assured) and I’m very blasé about receiving rejections for my submissions, but put me in a situation where I have to read my work in front of a baker’s dozen of perfectly nice strangers and I tear up and shake all over. I’m not prone to panic attacks, but that’s what the symptoms match. This is something I need to get over, because seriously, what the fuck is that all about.

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