Created by Brian Feldman
The Glass Knife
March 3, 2019
Winter Park, FL
Disclaimer One: I participated in this performance at Mr. Feldman’s request.
Disclaimer Two: I read some of my own material. Thus, this commentary may not provide and objective view of what occurred. Oh, well.
Sunday brunch is the busy season for Winter Park’s “Glass Knife.” It’s a high-end bakery / breakfast place located on the rather noisy Orlando Avenue, or as the locals say “17-92.” The weather is as nice as an be, warm and clear, but with light oak pollen forecast for outdoor dining. I’m first to arrive, take a seat and run through my material. I’ve been writing about Feldman for 15 years, as have many other local critics: Seth Kubersky, Thomas Thorspecken, Mark Baratelli, and pinch hitting for Elizbeth Maupin, Feldman’s mother. I take a seat, and soon the Feldman crew arrives. The set up two feeds, one on Periscope, and one on Facebook. Cameras are their telephones propped up with silver wear and random items from Ed Feldman’s back pack. The background sound level is high; we are outside hard on a busy 17-92. It takes a while to get all this working, and who knows what the sound is like.
In front of me is a red place mat with three shiny knives. Feldman instructs us to write our names on them with an engraving pen. The knives go in a silverized plastic urn that you might use to chill a split of cheap Costco “champagne.” These knives will be drawn out to select what order we read in. Amazingly, none of us have duplicated choices of projects, and I trudge though “67 Books,” “Not the Edge of Nature,” and last week’s tenth anniversary of the “txt” performance at Kerouac house. We begin reading; and my fellow writers recall Brian’s “Macbeth,” “Dishwasher,” “The End of Television,” “Leap Day,” “The Feldman Dynamic,” and so forth. Mr. Thorspecken sketches and hands off the reading duties to his female accomplice.
Glass Knife has good food, I mime my order to the waiter as someone else reads. Half way through the avocado toast, I read again. Feldman stands in front of me, nodding agreement, looking like he might dispute, but generally taking the abuse heaped upon him. We receive a report at least one person is watching us on line. I take notes for this write-up. The waiter does his best, and neighboring tables ignore us.
Soon we are done. I tip 15%, Thorspecken folds his sketch tablet, and I find typos in my old reviews. The versions I save in my archive aren’t always the latest version published, and I expect a full and detailed run down of my spelling and grammar errors from Feldman. I like that; no Feldman project is complete without him proof reading it.