by Cameryn Moore
When I’m in New Orleans, the Sidewalk Smut—you know, that weird little sidewalk gig where I pound out off-the-cuff custom pornography on a typewriter for strangers—takes up much more space in my consciousness than at any other time of the year. I can actually make money to live on, if I put in the hours, so I do, making up for mediocre box office in the previous four stops of my tour. New Orleans is also the only place where I’ve met other sidewalk typists (they’re all poets). It makes me realize how much I crave collegial interactions with people who share my same pursuits. It’s easy with Fringe performers, we’re fucking everywhere, but sidewalk typists are a very rare breed and not really out there.
So, anyway, I hit the BHoF editor up with a request for contacts, anything along the lines of what I’m doing, and also asked whether he would be interested in any writing about literary busking. He wrote back enthusiastically: “I’m totally interested in stories from the world!” It took a moment for that usage to fit in, “the world”. At first, I thought, “Wait, all stories are from the world.” But then it hit, I really am in a different world when I go do Sidewalk Smut. It’s not just different work, a different hat I put on. This is a whole different world.
Trying to find my space in these different worlds is very like the touring I do: I stay some places longer than other, put down roots and build history and connections in them to varying degrees, but nowhere am I actually a tourist, you know, “My goodness, look at this, isn’t it quaint? Can I take your picture?” And the same time I have to acknowledge that I don’t live there. I am not solely any one of these. I can’t afford to be. I have to diversify my brand, put my creative eggs in a bunch of different baskets.
Yeah, I guess I’m a busker, sometimes. What a strange new world.