Sunday, October 14, 2007


"You do just what you're supposed to do because the clock don’t ever stop for you," Jackie Green

You never know what to expect in terms of who might show up for a performance so I was keeping my expectations at the “expect anything” level for LitCrawl. However, I was encouraged Saturday afternoon when I ran into several neighbors who had printed out the reading program and circled their picks. Things continued to look up when I heard someone talking about their 'Crawl itinerary before yoga class and continued to brighten when I saw the roving pods of people along Valencia St. as I made my way toward 22nd St. for my segment of the Litquake blow-out reading marathon.
"In L.A., six people might show up," Greg later opined, marveling at the crowd who filled the Mission Laundromat to hear "Lit Journals: Authors from On the Page and Tea Party" read from our work. A pre-reading pit stop at the even more packed Amnesia Bar for "The Beat on the Page: Bay Area Music Writers Take the Mic" allowed me to hear a funny bit by Katy St. Clair about meeting Charlie Louvin. Nevertheless, when I arrived at the Laundromat at 7:30 call and found a lone person emptying a dryer and no sight of the On the Page editors, I had to laugh. So, I made another pit stop across the street—happily running into Suzy Parker on her way to her Left Coast Writers reading—at The Marsh Café to grab a snack and check out the Small Press Distribution venue. “Write a poem and you get to pick out a book,” said SPD’s Neil Alger, handing me a yellow-lined pad of paper. Drawing on my old “first-thought-best-thought” Naropa training to pound out “Peasant Pie Poetry“ (below) and quickly choose an Edward Abbey title proved to be the magic ticket. When I got back to the Laundromat, OtP founder/editor Nada Von Tress was making introductions and the venue was filling. No mic meant we readers stood on the folding tables to orate. I found it all slightly goofy and much fun, as was the very noisy after-party at Elbo Room (where I was happy to thank LQ director Jane Ganahl and hear more of Greg’s tales of L.A. and the south) and a post-party debrief and bowl of Jerusalum artichoke soup at Delfina.

Peasant Pie Poetry

Sequined friends read in windows
While socks are matched
on empty linoleum.
Pulp, classic and old stories
Speak to former skins worn-
All those labors,
All those losses.
We laugh now,
Knowing, finally
Its all there is.

—D.Crooks 10-13-07

1 comment:

Karen said...

Sounds like a great night! Wish I could have been there.