This is interesting. . I've never really noticed that there was a struggle for who gets to read second--but maybe I'm just oblivious (or perhaps it's not so blatant in the low-key midwest). Of course I tend to volunteer to go first or early on in big groups because then, having once read, I can actually sit back and enjoy the other people without having the running monologue going through my head that says "I'm going to fuck-up or trip. I'm going to fuck up or trip." I love giving readings but there's always serious anxiety before I'm up there doing it. Well, and when it comes to some readings, in bar-like settings, I'm still pretty sober (the only cure to the above) early in the evening and less likely to bungle words. I agree it's certainly better to read while your audience is still fresh and people are still apt to pay attention and not be scooting for the door. The only reading I've hosted myself, I asked, and since either of the two seemed to care, I determined they'd go alphabetically. Nobody seemed out of joint about it. This seems like a fair way to do it. But I've only done a couple readings with only two participants, ususally three or four more like it. Maybe it's that whole opening act stigma, who knows?
Meanwhile, otherwise it is damned frigid here. It couldn't be 8 below today when I didn't have to get out of bed and go to work, could it? It's still too chilly in the apartment--old radiators + lots of big windows + tightass management company = me freezing my ass off. I guess I can't complain since winter's been rather mild this year after a bad December. Today, cleaning and writing my sonnet for forms class, maybe a little reading under my comfy down comforter, the only place in the apartment that's bearable when you're sitting still.