Gudding and Hess read at the City Museum yesterday, competing with pinball machines. Gudding is a serious mid-westerner. He reads in a monotone, trying to fit as many syllables in a phrase as possible without raising or lowering his pitch. David is more like an awkward kid than the fire-breathing loudmouth he plays on his blog. His English teacher from St. Louis University High School was there. Gabe said he didn't like the poems in "A Defense of Poetry" very much any more, or anything he was now writing. He seemed to be distancing himself from his poems by his style of reading. The feedback from the microphone and the pinball machines didn't help any. David stumbled a bit over his texts and dropped off his voice before finishing the last lines of his poems. He did not exactly project self-confidence or comfort in his own skin. I would have rather just sat there and talked to the poets than listen to a formal reading. It seemed an artificial situation, especially given the poets' seeming lack of conviction for what they were doing. It was nice to meet two other bloggers (finally). Neither was anything like what I had expected. The City Museum itself is a bizarre place to have a reading--a run-down indoor amusement park/arcade/birthday party rental joint.