After three days basking in L.A. heat, great weather for MEDIA took Seattle by storm (while Seattle took great weather by light rain) in another refreshing celebration of their new anthology The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker. We took shelter against the slightly inclement conditions and the egregiously inclement government in the magnificent and welcoming Den at Chop Suey, an odd name perhaps for the small stage in a music venue but what isn’t an odd name these days. Joined by six Seattleites both native and migratory, Jane Ormerod and I drifted in the everstream of wordlife just as the floodgates build to cracking in the coming intemperate era. In other words, we had a damn fine read.
Tangent: needing to shake off the wet chill, I asked the bartender for a coffee, only to find that, alas, they had none. Taking advantage of my geographic positioning, I called out, “Where’s the nearest espresso?” The Chorus called back, “Across the street.” So I grabbed a latte, swung back round, plunked it on the bar and shouted, “Dump in a Baileys!” — and thereby discovered the most heavenly beverage ever: latte and Baileys. Fuck IPA’s; this should be Seattle’s official drink.
The open mic had three takers, and we were all the happier for them. Dylan, recent immigrant from New York, broke the ice with a wave of strong feelings on the current dire. Jaye Ware graced us with an ardent history of strong black women. And Roz Ray sailed off with fine performative energy. Anyone who says open mics no longer flourish is a blind euphemism.
The features sets then took off full sail. Natasha Moni visited her challenged childhood currents being from a mixed-race family in the South. (All strength and aid to those of this very moment!) M. Nicole R. Wildhood dipped her feet in the warm reading ocean with her first public recitation, and a difficult one at that, her piece “Politics” from the anthology – peruse it and you’ll see why I say – which she pulled off marvelously. M. N. R. W., please read more, and frequently. We need your voice! Matthew Brouwer, stepping in last minute for an absent reader (thank you, Matthew), spoke with pith and articulation of the troubled world. (Thanks for that too.) I put my boots on the line (well, on the stage) by reading my piece “Bootism” from the book, thankful that I’d waterproofed them well before travel. And Jane Ormerod, whose abstractions are gaining more relevance than ever, took us out with a montage flood of all the emotions we’ve been dealing with since the American Apocalypse began last week.
We’re talkin water, we’re talking wash, we’re talkin words, we’re talkin survival, we’re talkin future, we’re talkin beauty, we’re talkin necessity, we’re talkin weapons. Let’s begin to bathe ourselves in preparation for the coming storm. We’ll need every clean and gripping cell eye heart mind tendon we can glean.
Submissions for great weather for MEDIA’s anthologies are open October 15 to January 15.
The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker is a fearless and dynamic collection of contemporary poetry and short fiction by established and emerging writers. This is essential reading for everyone looking for the innovative, the reflective, and the fearless. The anthology also contains an interview with musician Thurston Moore.