Ben Parzybok

Deep sea sandwiches!

On taking off all my clothes, starting tomorrow

I asked a friend advice on giving a reading, since I do my first tomorrow and he said:

“At an early reading in the 70s at my publisher’s house in Vancouver, B.C., I was so anxious I drank a little too much, took off all my clothers except under shorts in front of the audience and about a third of the way through threw my loose-leaf manuscript out over the heads of the audience screaming that it was a bunch of fucking shit and lies…the adrenalin of some fear is good, gives you an edge.”

In case you were wondering what to expect should you happen to attend a reading.

I remember seeing Dave Eggers read – he had the audience diagnose a problem with his leg (night tremors) and then he brought an exercise coach out and we all did a bit of a workout. That might be more my style. I’ve been calling around town to see if I could get a therapist to travel with me, in case we need to diagnose any madness in the audience. I also might play a game or two of bingo, or challenge someone to leg wrestle. No one can beat me at leg wrestling. No one. I’m just saying.

Why does a search for podium aerodynamics turn up almost nothing?!

Peter Fogtdal – who is on tour now – is an impressive reader. I would classify it as about 38% insane, contradicting himself schizophrenically every third sentence. It was a great performance.

Laura bought me a black button shirt with little pin stripes that mesmerize me. So that’s probably what I’ll wear, and subsequently remove at the pinnacle of the performance. I’m also considering a hat, maybe this, or this?

If anyone else has any reading tips for me – please say!

Author: Benjamin Parzybok

My name is Ben Parzybok and I'm a novelist and programmer living in Portland, OR. @sparkwatson



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  2. I think you should make alternating members of the audience hold you up on a couch the entire time

    have fun..and congrats

  3. Julie! Thanks – great to hear from you.
    I think reading from a couch is a great idea – exalted and above the crowd, like some kind of comfort-loving literary ruler. I’ll ask and see what they say, I’m sure they’ll go for it.

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