Sunday, April 1, 2007

Back Room Live, A Book, and More Fun with Poets.

First of all, have you seen this book? The Trainwreck Union has recently discovered Zirconia, and we are all rather excited about it.
I think that you will like it, too.

I am going to read it at the Mama Buzz today, if you come by, I'll read it to you. Or we could all take turns reading it aloud like we did on Friday at Ralleigh's.

This is also how I experienced much of Geoffrey G. O'brien's latest book, which is also amazing, if you didn't know already, which you must.


Last night was Valyntina Grenier's Back Room Live. I always like the atmosphere in the back of McNally's, a loud bar, because it makes poetry seem subversive and in direct competition with what often appears to be dominant culture: yelling at a television. I love Valyntina for having it.

The first reader was Angelo Nikolopoulos. Angelo informed us all about how brutish and stupid straight men are. This was a relief because I've always wanted an excuse for my stupidity and now finally have one. Everyone in the room found it all very humorous, and lots of laughs erupted the mouths of the audience, and even I laughed at a couple of his straight-bashing poems, but I couldn't help but be a little sad about stereotypes. I think stereotypes are sad. Do straight men all smell like motor oil and gym bags? Are they really all thumbs with all things delicate? I don't think so. The male friends that I have don't. The heterosexual white man is the last group one is able to make fun of with impunity. That's all right I guess, but it makes me sad. So, Angelo Nikolopoulos's poetry evoked emotion of all kinds. That's good, right?

Challen Clark read a funny and charming story about turtles that I loved until the last page, which seemed unneeded and inconsiderate of the listener's patience.

Teresa Hovis was too quiet to hear, but I think she read something about her family. Nikol Polidoro, Trainwreck Union founding member, was in the front row and had trouble hearing her, too, but she said she really liked her stuff. . . she also said that she likes a lot more stuff than I do, that she has more tolerant taste buds. I envy Nikol for that.

Sarah Garrigan was also rather quiet, but she was fine for as nervous as she was. Let's face it, it's hard getting up there. She was a lot better than I expected.

J.P. Lacrampe was handsome. He went to ASU. Nikol thought his fiction was O.K.


The highlight of the evening was talking with David Larsen about what he's going to read on the 19th at Unitarian church. Did you know there were 600 words for the Asiatic lion in Arabic? Neither did I. Larsen knows. I was on the fence about going to see yet another translation reading, but he has totally convinced me that the 19th will be off the hook and well worth the Bart to SF. His enthusiasm rubs off on people he talks to. Now I can't wait to see him read about lions.

Justin Botros was there, too, and he also cannot wait to learn more about the Asiatic Lion.


Many of us ended up at Ben n' Nick's. We end up there a lot.
We are going to Mama Buzz today, and we will hopefully fly kites at the Marina, weather permitting. I can't say "weather" with a definite article without thinking about Lisa Robertson now.

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