rec room home | total fiasco

some thoughts on a fiasco
by miki howald

the jan 04 2006 reconstruction room reading turned out not to be the fiasco we all thought it would be—what with the lack of planning and the vacation scheduling and the illness abounding. in fact, it seemed to have gone pretty well, broken noisemakers and all. at one point, when i blew into my broken noisemaker and it unrolled silently like a blue tongue sprinkled with glitter, a friend looked at me and said, "that's the most depressing thing i've ever seen." i told her i'd write a poem about it, but i'm not going to; this blog post will have to do. i had invited another friend to the reading as well, but he declined. he said most readings were a fiasco, and he couldn't imagine what a real fiasco would be. he suggested i read from don quixote, stop in the middle, look up and say, "and this is where i stopped writing because i realized that not only does my novel suck, it's don quixote." now that would have been a fiasco, he told me.

instead the night was what it was—early in the new year, coming off the deaths of miners just when we've been told that coal is the future of energy, right after the arrest of one of the most prominent lobbyists in washington, after a string of fatal terrorist attacks in iraq, and right before the start of the new american idol season—not too different from any other night. same as it ever was—maybe that's the fiasco. but i don't really mean to be that depressing. any time we can convene and share stories of a glorious string of new year's eve embarrassments, applaud the poetry that gave up on reason, listen to a promising dual movie review, laugh at computer-repairing hookups and suicide, witness uncomfortable improv and someone who memorized an incredibly long poem, then get a bad grade on a group project, it's a good time. no, i don't think it's a fiasco at all that we're doing what we do, whatever may be happening around us. i mean, really, what the hell else are we supposed to do?