in responding to a friend's comment on facebook, i wound up articulating precisely why i gave up on the notion of performing pieces--and it felt far more concise than my explanations here and here. so here's my third angle:
typically, poetry comes to me because there's something i need to speak, then let go. i would not want folks asking me to perform or repeatedly recite the majority of my poetry. even some love poem inspirations have faded into a sort of blurry collective memory. i don't want or need them lingering in my mind--that's why i write them down.
put another way: my poetry is usually an intense emotional experience manifested in words. once the moment's over, i'm done with it. there are times when i feel compelled to share those moments, so i do. but tomorrow i'll be somewhere else...and trying to hold on to these lines or being tied to a "signature piece" would prevent the level of progression and evolution i enjoy.
afterword: i adore performance poetry, and the people who do it. this is in no way meant as a statement on the progression of those artists--personally or collectively--or the art form itself. this is just me talkin. as usual. and something i can point folks to when they ask me questions & shit.