“Confessions of a Sidewalk Pornographer” (Busker Hall of Fame, March 2014)

sidewalk smut 2012 New OrleansI’m cross-posting this article; I didn’t know what category it should be in. I mean, it’s about Sidewalk Smut, this ridiculous literary endeavour I’ve been doing since 2011. But I wrote the piece about Sidewalk Smut for the Busker Hall of Fame, a great online collection of busking stories from around the world. Out on the sidewalk, I definitely feel a kinship with the “proper” buskers, the ones whose work you can see or hear, the ones gathering crowds to watch, the one wearing microphone headsets and sweating bullets. Our work looks very different, but I think the milieu is what defines our kinship. And yet, at the end of the day, what I do isn’t quite busking. From the linked article:

“The typing is its own performance, I guess, because so few people see or hear typing anymore, but nobody is paying me for that performance. (A few people tip me every now and then just because it is “so cool” and/or they want to take pictures, but that kind of politeness is rare.) The real work, the real experience of Sidewalk Smut, is only happening for one or two people at a time: first in the interview, then in my pre-typing cogitation, and then the creation on the page. I am closest in form to the street caricaturists, but even then, their art is unfolding for all passersby to see. As a sidewalk pornographer, I may as well be typing “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” over and over, as far as anyone else knows.”

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