BY Rudy Mars (QSP)
Jackson, MI — In an apparent effort to show the softer side of his creative persona, Andy Mozina shocked listeners at Bottomless Cave Books in Jackson, MI, on Friday night by reading exclusively from a new chapbook of erotic poetry entitled Cuddling by the Shed.
In the wake of recent incidents that suggested Mozina was becoming unstable, there had been speculation that Bottomless Cave would cancel the reading, originally scheduled to promote Mozina’s new story collection, Quality Snacks. Instead, Mozina appeared composed, wearing an extremely tight Kelly green dress shirt and shiny jeans, and read selected poems in a hushed but impassioned voice.
Mozina led off with “You Can Look, But You Can’t Touch,” a free verse poem about an off-duty police officer sunbathing at a municipal pool. The ending–“Your slim shadow slants/athwart my feet/like a nightstick”–was met by polite silence from listeners.
The only tense moment occurred when Mozina demanded an audience read-along to his poem “Wait ‘til We Finish Our Chores.” Mozina distributed Xeroxes of the poem and became visibly upset when no one joined in. Yet, unlike during his recent meltdown at the Droll Unicorn Book Shop, he quickly mastered his emotions, reading the last lines with tenderness: “The cleaning supplies/are stowed,/my love./Now what?”
Still, his audience was wary.
“I don’t think ‘stirrup’ and ‘goddess’ is even a slant rhyme, but whatever,” said Mindy Jones, a cashier at Bottomless Cave. “He was way into it, which counts for something, I guess.”
Mozina claimed he wrote the entire book in a single inspired afternoon.
“I had spilled my margarita and was tantruming about it when my wife told me to take a nap. Little did I know I was about to dream thirty percent of my first book of erotic poetry, pretty much verbatim.”
The next step of course is finding a press to publish the chapbook.
“I’ll be sending the manuscript to some of the best literary agents for erotic poetry,” Mozina said. “Stay tuned.”