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Welcome to Open Link Night!! I’m Joe Hesch and I’ll be your host. Our byword for tonight is “Confidence.” I mean confidence as a working artist and as a fellow artist among the murmuring crowd around you.

C’mere let me whisper a little secret to you. Sometimes approaching writing a poem, or any writing project, makes me feel like I’m once more in my high school French II class, looking longingly at the back of Ellen Herkenham’s head, her long brown hair tempting my teenaged nose and fingers. I want to ask her out so badly, but I can’t find the words. Or I can find the words–which I would no doubt mumble quickly and unintelligibly–but I keep them bottled inside for fear of ego-smashing rejection.

As a bartender and gadfly (but not a barfly) around here, I’ve heard so many have that same feeling when we want to write or want to show our work to someone other than the cat, dog, or bird (I have it on high authority goldfish are unread Philistines).

I tell these folks it’s okay to feel that way. Probably more than half of us have that hesitance. Never worry about mingling and sharing with this crowd. We’re all here for the weekly mixer of the poetically afflicted.

You’re all probably sick of my going on about American poet William Stafford (who, along with Ernest Hemingway and Ron Carlson, is my “teacher”), but old Bill talked about such “shyness.” he said:

“A writer must write bad poems, as they come, among the better, and not scorn the ’bad’ ones. Finicky ways can dry up the sources … To avoid the flaws might lead to one big flaw–the denying of leads that carry the writer on.”

So carry on and write free, friends. Feel as free to share your work with us without fear, because it’s YOUR work and that’s what we’re here for.

So put that poem on the bar and turn around and talk to that attractive artist behind you. He or she might be “the One” to make your evening special.

If you’re new to the pub, welcome, and here’s how you can share with us:

▪      Post a poem to your blog,

▪      Link your poem to dVerse (1 per blog, please) by clicking on the Mr.Linky  button below.

▪      This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog url and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away.

▪      Don’t forget to let your readers know where you’re linking up and encourage them to participate by including a link to dVerse in your blog post.

▪      Visit as many other poems as you like or can, commenting  as you like or can, as well.

Spread the word on the poems you enjoy if you’d like. Feel free to tweet and share on the social media of your choice.