Recorded at the University of California, Berkeley.
For this one, the University’s Art Department had just pulled its sponsorship of the performance series. There were CANCELED signs all over the place! We replaced them and went in. My plan was to talk to the people who came to the performance in the hall outside the room. BUT THEY WERE WAXING THE HALLS! But the janitors, who recognized me from the first week, said we should go into the room … which was open, lights on … so, as I sometimes do, I did as I was told! As each person entered, I warned them: “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE SERIES HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THIS PERFORMANCE IS ILLEGAL. WE ARE TRESPASSING!” Only the first couple hightailed it. The rest (maybe 12 people) just sat down outraged! And as we talked about the two censorings in one week … they got more outraged! I started reading the poems that I read outside the cafe. Things got magical when I had different people read my poems while sitting beside me. Marie read sexy. But things went beyond the frame when a guy … maybe of Arab stock, maybe a slight CP … read TORTURES. Each event in the poem boiled his emotions more and more … so much so, he sometimes had to scream before going on! And when he got to the last line (“But all in all, life has been good!), he laughed deeply, almost out of control, in relief that life is indeed good! (We got all of it on video!)