Sung through falling leaves wet & clung to shoes & it’s PORTLAND & we love the rain don’t we well I SURE DO. Clouds & rains, chill & the smell of damp fall — now that’s what I’d call great weather.
Back in time a couple days, we’re moving back in time and now we’re back in Berkeley sunny & dangerous but the sun is gone by 5 and the fabulous Art House Gallery and its even more fabulous proprietor Harold Adler are wide open and welcoming, and we are there and it is Puma’s last night with the tour and the crowd is full & glad & game & everybody feels it, they feed us and we feed them right back and it is that beautiful cycle that happens when readings are most alive.
Mostly same readers as Viracocha with the added presence of Julia Vinograd who grounded the center of the set with her candid comments, streetwise phonemes, and streamsong of life running through brick & glass & flesh. In some ways, Julia is the center of Berkeley poetry as well — you can find out more in my interview with her on this very site.
Also this show was graced by the ardent verbals of Tina Yang, up from L.A. for a guest appearance. Yay!
So here’s the deal, like I said this reading was smokin’ smooth, and everyone in top form, an absolute pleasure to hear. I hosted to give Jane a break, and she started off the eve with a couple of her power wordweaves, revving the audience for a livened show.
Joan Gelfand gets up and promptly does dark, double Joan-dark, and tells us so, and we willingly descend to the terrain of ruined earth and the depths of Sylvia’s oven.
Mary Mackey took us on another spin through the Amazon, deeply human and hallucinogenic…
Julia Vinograd then tours the human and hallucinogenic streets of Berkeley…
Kit Kennedy, always a joy, was a double-joy this eve, sparking off witty incisive pieces short to supershort with a sandbox full of play.
To make it an all-women reading, I presented one of my fave prose pieces from the anthology, you remember when our bones were just a slideshow to the rest of us by Aimee Herman, taking the audience on a wild romp through first lesbian lust.
And Puma, well Puma Perl was in finest form, capping of the evening on her final night with her lyrical laments and awe of life, culminating in a gorgeous remembrance of Lou Reed.
Everyone levitated out of this one, helped along by the sheer joy of Harold & the Art House, and drifted through the chill and unsuspecting streets of the East Bay shedding multicolored sparks of light.
But the time machine has taken us to Portland, hasn’t it, yes it has, and now we chill, Jane & I, a day or two, before the next (and next to last) stop on the tour, a gala double-press event. That’ll be tomorrow (Sunday) eve at the Clinton Street Theater, as great weather for MEDIA shakes all hands at once with the writers of Printed Matter, a Vancouver (WA)-based press featuring some of the finest word-talents of the area and beyond. Word forward!