Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tour Diary: Portland DAY TWO mini Book Tour of the Pacific NorthWest

continuing with Tour Diary post 2 of 5:

So I underestimated HOW FREAKING COLD it gets during the night in Portland, but I adjusted my calculations when I woke up shivering at about 3am, because the window next to my bed was open. Brrrr.

Jonathan had to work Sunday, so we were stranded at the house until the reading later in the evening. But my friend Kelly came over and abducted us for brunch at the Arleta Library Bakery Cafe. She said you're really not experiencing Portland unless you're waiting in line. This was my initiation but the tasty food was worth the wait. She dropped us off back at the house so she could run some errands but vowed to see us again at my reading that night.

Fun fact: there's an enormous sprawling gated compound that covers an entire block near the house. Jessica hopes this won't be the site of some future Waco-like standoff.
Keep Portland paranoid:

Fun fact #2: It wasn't easy to get a reading in Portland. understandably, part of that was surely because it was a little bit of a late notice. Part of that was surely because I am not that big of a deal. But one bookstore declined my inquiry because "they don't have good luck with poetry readings." Boo.

So my point is that I was extremely grateful for two Portlanders who went out of their way to welcome me and arrange some readings while I was "in the neighborhood." The first was Josh Lubin, but I'll write more about that when I get to my Day 4 post.

This entire Sunday night reading was made possible by the kindness and support of writer Sally K. Lehman.

She found an awesome venue, invited some kick-ass writers, and basically made everything happen. All while she was in the final stages of preparing her own book for publication (which has been officially released now by Black Bomb Books so you can check it out by clicking right HERE).
Basically, I am eternally grateful for all of this:

Our reading took place at the American Legion Post 134:

Forget about those snobby bookstores...this was a perfect venue. It had a big stage, comfy couches, a cheap bar, but it's technically a private club so under-21 folks are equally welcome, and it's run by folks who are supportive of what we're doing and happy to have us there.

Sam Snoek-Brown opened the night with a hysterical piece and then hit us right in the heart by addressing the recent tragedy in Umpqua.

We were also lucky to have readings by Holly Goodman, Josh Lubin, Andrew Gurevich, Bakeem Lloyd, Mo Daviau, Jessica Standifird, and the musical stylings of Jonathan Oak.

I was ecstatic to see some old friends I've known for years and meet some new ones I hope to see again. 

We weren't as exhausted as Bakeem makes it appear, but we were pretty hungry
so we ended the night in the best way possible at Pine State Biscuits with shiitake mushroom gravy, fried green tomatoes and all the exclamation points in the world.

This was a brief reunion of the Rorschach Poetry Collective that put together some cool literary events back when these three lived in Arizona with me (including the monthly Free Association reading that still happens at Glendale Community College).

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