I love doing readings because I am a big old ham, and wondered what I could pick to fit the bill (a very SHORT bill: 5 minutes per reader).
I have no problem with short readings: I've written a 1-minute play, done a 2-minute reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, had a 5-minute play produced in Oregon, have written innumerable 10-minute plays, and my own reading series has a 15-minutes-tops limit.
The question was how best to create a literary amuse bouche (that would also sell books).
While I am not a poet, I have read and heard enough poetry that I can fake it (which I once did at Cheryl B's "Poetry vs. Comedy" series).
So I decided to make a found poem out of all the stories in BLE.
(Later, when I was talking to poet Guillermo Castro, who will read at Drunken! Careening! Writers! in April for National Poetry Month, he told me there is a form called a "cento," that is, a poem created solely from lines by other poets.)
So here's the cento for Best Lesbian Erotica 2011:
Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 (abridged)
I picked up a twentysomething-year-old Jewish straight girl when I went out for Chinese with my manager last Saturday night.
Van didn’t mind Julia being a stripper, as long as she didn’t have to go and watch her lover being watched.
“Why not? We girls do that all the time. I was a runner-up in my village in the boobs and butts contest.”
There is something very raw and very queer about playing with this kind of power.
“Okay, well, it goes both ways then. If I share, you have to, too.”
Aryn closed her eyes, sliding her hands around the muscled back and holding the dancer’s smooth body close, the hard nipple still hot against her tongue, and then Phera pulled back with a whispered laugh and took her body away.
I should be faster, this should be just three thrusts and it’s over, we’re in public, for goodness’ sake, in a room full of people, barely concealed by shadow.
In front of me stood a concrete hut, long abandoned, covered in DANGER OF DEATH signs.
Bella stood there, naked and blue.
Were I to describe my image of perfection, my ideal woman, I would list every one of her stunning features.
What I’d like would probably embarrass you, I thought.
“Just keep your mind on business, Ace, and let me do my work here,” I said.
“Do you want to see my tit?” Trish asks, just like she was asking “Do you want to see my puppy?”
Chen picked up my hand and examined my fingernails, which had black polish but were cut short.
I was all tangled up in my harness and I could barely move, so she could have been bright blue with tentacles and I would have been overjoyed to see her.
I felt a surge of irritation and slapped her with all my strength.
“Be good and you’ll get more,” Frankie promised.
There, in a dingy midafternoon bar, she ordered two double whiskies for herself and another to go with my coffee.
That’s how we ended up in this big abandoned room, with nice cushy chairs around a huge conference table.
So I had to be content to look at her and admire her from afar.
She crawls over me and doesn’t make a sound as she pushes my thighs apart.