Here in Buffalo, NY there are two really cool poets, Celia White and Joe Todaro, and they organize an event called Urban Epiphany. Urban Epiphany is a gathering of poets (of all different levels of experience) and gives them each two minutes to read. It is an awesome event and has a lot of really good energy. http://www.celiathepoet.org/urbanepiphany2005.htm
One year ago I went to Urban Epiphany to see my friend Anna Walsh read (we have a book of poetry coming out soon, keep a look out for it). And it was a lot of fun to watch and I so wanted to go up and read. I wasn't signed up to read, but it was possible to go up to Celia and Joe and get an open reader slot. I spent a couple hours trying to work up the courage to talk to them about getting a slot and I wasn't able to do it. I had one poem of mine memorized well enough that I could recite it, but I was afraid I would freeze or forget the words. Any time I thought about approaching the sign up sheet my heart would start pounding in my chest. Eventually I had to run and do some activist stuff and I had not signed up or read.
Oh what a difference a year makes. I have bunches of things memorized because I perform quite often to pretty big audiences. This year I was really excited to see Anna read again, but also about half of the poets there were poets that I know and like and have enjoyed seeing in the past (the past being the last 5 or 6 months). And the performance poetry group that has recently welcomed me in, ice9, was there and we read as a block (somewhat coincidentally) and we really rule.
I performed "Ugly American" and "Be Peace" again --not only because those are the ones I've needed to perform lately, but also because they seemed right for this audience. And the audience really liked it.
Also, my buddy Mikey didn't like it that you couldn't find the lyrics to the things I was performing in the galleries on the AMProSoft website here, so I have started adding some lyrics here and there. Here's Ugly American