Thursday, May 15, 2008

Road Trip Day 4: Books to Beans

Day four was OUR day. Elena's and mine. We've toiled away happily at the Poetry Corner for ten years, and, finally, they let us read. Happily, we both had fresh projects to read from: Elena's Masque (Tupelo) and my own chapbook, Other Medicines (Redbone). We chose to alternate rather than chunk it up, and that seemed to work well, create a different rhythm. Friends were in the audience, including Chryss, Margaret, and new friend Tristan with his lovely fiancée (and, oh, Jackson was there Saturday). And Robert, who read after and who taught me at Berkeley, showed up early to listen, but this is all I'll say about us basking in our tiny glory. We still had to work the rest of the day, and it was also a fine one, with Robert reading from his strong new book, and on through many regulars to Stanley Plumly in his best basso radio voice, to another old Fresno compadre Sam Pereira, and Wanda Coleman, who briefly turned it into a revival tent with heavy with eros. The complete lineup follows.

Elena Byrne and Marty Williams
Masque and Other Medicines

Robert Pinsky
Gulf Music: Poems

Maurya Simon

Al Young
Something About the Blues

Elaine Equi
Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems

Jill Bialosky and Dana Goodyear
The End of Desire and Honey and Junk

1:00 PM
James Ragan
In the Talking Hours

Adam Kirsch
Invasions: New Poems

Stanley Plumly
Old Heart: Poems

Carol Muske-Dukes and Sam Pereira
Sparrow and A Café in Boca

Chris Abani
Hands Washing Water

Wanda Coleman and Diane Ward
Mercurochrome and When You Awake

Luis J. Rodriguez
My Nature is Hunger

It was especially lovely to see Margaret, whom I bean seein' here every year and who beacons her smile wherever she goes. I left her in the green room with Robert and Pico Iyer. After the reading, Elena and I tried to meet up with Noah, who usually comes out but was visiting family in San Diego. That was perhaps the only disaster of the entire trip, since Noah was coming on bike and I had to leave for a gathering in Santa Barbara the moment he arrived. I needed more Noah time. But the three of us parted and hugged and I headed north, where I stayed with George and Amy, and where Chryss and Cattie and Dave and Patrick and Barry remained despite my latish arrival. We drank great wine (including a lovely '98 Dehlinger pinot) and laughed until late. It was nice to be home.


Queen Whackamole said...

Thems were some good times...

George said...

Did we serve beans?

Marty said...

The beans? They're for Margaret, in fond memory of a lunch at La Super-Rica that has remained a consistent theme in our communications.