March 18, 2003

B

Last night I attended a poetry reading at the Bowery Poetry Club. Outside the club I met an old guy named Bingo Gazingo. Bingo had a backwards letter B written or possibly tattooed on his forehead. He and his letter looked something like this:

Bingo Gazingo

Bingo wanted me to buy a CD of his poetry, which after looking at the CD case I declined to do. “You’re breaking my heart,” he said.

Later, during the open mic, Bingo read some of his poems. My friends hated these poems because they were crazy and because Bingo read them in a histrionic manner. I loved them for the same reasons. I also loved that Bingo had written the poems on enormous sheets of paper using large block letters. The letters were so large that Bingo could fit just twenty or thirty words on a single page. Because of this he had to shuffle through a thick stack of enormous papers just to read a single poem, which for me only added to the charm and luster of his performance.