I worked on some short book reviews in the cafe on Waller & ran into someone from my department... which makes me realize how out of touch I have been. I need my thesis study group!
Then walked to the train & we went to oakland to a cafe near where I used to live, for this reading - which I didn't know was a poetry thing too - so i ended up reading a couple of things & C. read from her novel. We were 2 blocks from Debbie's house and so I called her and she showed up, which was very cozy... she knew everyone there and then i realized they were all not just poetry but also poly sf geeks. That was kind of cool, I'm used to the poly/sf thing, but adding poetry on top ! What next! I love the bay area.
I was digging heavily on the things Serene read - anyone who reads wanda coleman and Alta and all that other stuff... good taste! I tried to explain how i love the poets from the 70s who loved the beats. I don't know what to call them, but I'm one of them, just another generation down the line or 10 years too late. "Wanna-Beats?" said S.'s wife. S. is perfect to come and feature at my Polo Alto poet thing. woot! Alas - I organized a really nice one for J. Simon but then could not be there since I was in Houston. Back to the cafe. The goodness of the poetry S. was reading and the way she kept saying "someone else come up here!" of course I had to read something off my computer, though unprepared... I met vito_excalibur, and booboolina, and other people whose names I can't remember... It was a few minutes into C.'s novel-reading when the cafe started to pay attention and sort of gel as an audience, and react as an audience... they loved it! Anyway - the cafe reading started out feeling a little disjointed and i couldn't tell who was there to listen and who was randomly there, i went and snarled at some dude talking on his cell, but then slowly it became more cohesisve and more people were clearly listening. you don't want to be interrupting someone's dinner or their own trip at a cafe thing but they can go outside... it's their tough luck... The cafe owner got up and read some of his own stuff and then some hilarious ranting by Larry Bierman, dumpster diving beatnik poet of Norman Oklahoma. When he was taking photos of C. as she read, at first I wrote him off as some kind of stalker but then I realized he was the cafe owner and was just excited he had a famous writer in his cafe and wanted to prove it later that he brings Culture to the masses... you know?
Lookit! Vito_excalibur sketched me!
I finished "Uglies" and "Pretties" the other day and am now reading "The Icarus Girl" which is good but disturbingly makes me think of Moomin's dreaminess, the way he doesn't answer and the way he likes to hide in small spaces.
Meanwhile in Houston my happy middle (not a happy ending, to be in a baptist camp, but at least a peaceful middle) was horribly interrupted and Marta missed her flight since suddenly Dorothy and her husband and the no-good niece were there at the bus station at midnight with nowhere to go. Oh, my god. No one knows what to do. the No-good niece ... oh, i can't even describe it. I never met her but have heard she's a jerk. She got kicked out of the shelter, and D. and husband came with her, their only family they have found in person...they are old and influenceable... I am overcome by this news. now they are at (after really, really not knowing where to go) the salvation army shelter, no more nice room to themselves, no dining hall, no haven of security to start building on... they must go and stand in line at the DRC outside in the sun, and wait there all day, with thousands of people... I have no new ideas and though apparently so easily influenced to expect dorothy and her husband to listen to Mark and them instead of their own family even when the family is obviously a complete asshole, it's so unlikely. I imagine it as my own grandparents and my own flakiest aunt, if she were a few rungs lower on the scale of humanity and sort of a crackhead instead of just a lush, well, it would be similar, my grandparents are old, frail, often confused... Well. it is heartbreaking.