There is no C in Bingo? On not being at AWP

My career will suffer, I have no doubt.
I’ll be on anti-depressants soon.
I’ll have no idea what to read next.
Christian will not lead me into temptation.
Vanessa will not pepper the air with scaldingly pointed one-liners.
Clearly I won’t see Dan Nester to thank him for the excellent playing card above.
I will not make plans to meet A, B, and C, and then not be able to find C, B, or A, but end up drinking with F and G who haven’t the faintest idea who B or C is but don’t care for A in any case.
I will not wave at Julie Sheehan, or Evie Shockley, or Kate Greenstreet, or Kazim Ali, or Elaine Sexton, or David Groff, or Pat Rosal, or Matthew Zapruder, or Catherine Daly or any of the dozens of poets I would like to actually talk to….
I will not have to feel bad for seeing the above seconds after they have a/ given a paper or b/ given a reading…doh.
I will not find Rachel hiding behind boxes of books.
Or Nathalie/Nathanael wondering how this happened. Again.
I will not miss Don, or Stephen, and spend an hour circling tables in the opposite direction.
I will not sit at the Coach House table (sorry Alana), or the Persea table (Hi Gabe), nor be surprised that the small book tables are my favorite in the end.
I will not stand in wonder that the placating poets always fill a huge room.
I will not have to worry about being crammed into an elevator with Billy Collins and Kenneth Goldsmith, nor being locked in said elevator for an extended period with Sharon Olds.
On the other hand, nor will I have to worry about all the bad lighting and terrible patterned carpets.
Or listen to people complain about teaching or wanting to teach.
Though the regular round of book launches will be sadly missed.
As will the opportunity to bump shoulders with Eileen Myles.
As usual, I will miss out on the Wompo gathering and hear about it from Mairead.
I will not have to soothe the poor fiction writers who find themselves in the effervescence of poets and are overwhelmed by the intensity.
I will miss the latest bits of gossip, and seriously, seriously, having a dozen or so really great books of poetry land in my back pack…
I will not, on the other hand, have to face that glazed over look that often happens after people find out that I’m from Canada.

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