A Reading about Psoriasis

For class last night, we went to the Kelly Writer's House and heard from three readers--two guys reading queer work and the third, a woman name Erin Markey (have to look her up) and all of them were like just 30 years old and super hipster and visiting from Brooklyn. I can't say I was in love with the one guy's project, though some of it might be jealousy--he has a book called Thirtynothing, and it's about his thirtieth birthday falling on the same anniversary as the birth of AIDs, or something like that. I'm not entirely sure that there is a birthday designated to AIDS, but you get the gist.

The second guy read what he characterized as sci fi post industrial punk rock pornography, and it was this noir-ish piece about a guy going undercover to seduce another man and possibly kill him (unclear), but then, when he's in the middle of having sex with the man, the guy tells him that he was the one who actually hired him, not the other guy. It was a somewhat funny piece, at least other people were laughing and I was making mental check notes like, Mildly amusing, but I didn't think it was LOL funny.

I liked the third reader, Erin Markey,  best--she has her own cabaret show in Brooklyn and sings and reads her work. She came up to the podium wearing a super high, super messy bun, and read in this sardonic, dead pan funny way about when she was fourteen and moved from one Southern state to Georgia, and how she decided to take that opportunity to transform herself, having recently gotten contacts, by going to the mal land trying to convince her mom to purchase an entirely new wardrobe. She only succeeded in getting two pair of short shorts, which she then alternated daily. She described going to the new school and realizing there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities to join things. First, she tried out for the girls' basketball team, but got hung up on the try out (she called it an audition) where they had to run backwards, which she described as feeling as unnatural to her as purposefully peeing one's pants when there was a perfectly good bathroom within eyesight. Next, she joined a Christian, holy roller church and then admonished her Catholic parents for not praying more in front of the children. Next, she had a friend come up to the front and play guitar while she sang a song about psoriasis, which had lines like, "I have my father's cankles/And my mother's Hershey kiss tits/But I'm the only one in my family/To have psoriasis."

Her reading was thoroughly entertaining and vivid and funny and now I see that I have to come up with something like that for my final project; some way to talk about being female and different without making it too much about the unrequited crushes I had on boys most of my life. Some famous writer (Eudora Welty? Carson McCullers?  Can't recall) once said something about how if you survived childhood, you had enough material just from that experience to write about it for the rest of your life.

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