Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We counted the books and this meant touching the books.  My hands dried out from the sponge of the covers.  Beep and then beep, the red laser eye utters its satisifaction when it registers one more book.  Only thirty thousand more to count.  Beep, and then beep, we gave the books over to the steady red eye and it liked the books, registered and tallied, book after book, one by one by one.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Every year in my neighborhood summer begins with Midsommarfest, a street fair with a Swedish name, a nod to the immigrants who made up the bulk of the neighborhood population long ago.  I always go to the fair, even though it is at the beginning anf not the "mid" summer, and I always enjoy it.  At some point, the 80's cover band "Sixteen Candles" takes the stage  (one of the stages, as there are several) and the crowd sways, and sings along.  In all that crowd I find familiar faces, and friends I'd not been looking to find.  (Hi Ianni!  Hi Dane!  Hi Jennifer!) Dusk arrives, and night comes, I remember words to silly 1980's songs that I did not know the words to in the 1980's. I find my capacity to dance, and sing along, and here's a portion of the beautiful truth: for every crowd that can turn into something harsh and violent, there is also, and again, and ever a crowd with a talent and potential for mass joy, a democracy of happiness, where the hipster girl and the prep school boy, the toddler and the granny, the insane and toothless old man can clap their hands, some of them not quite in time with the beat. Clap your hands and grin and be part of this group of people brought together by a street fair, by circumstance, by Joe's friend Melanie who totally lives, like right around the corner so we should go and check this out. Witth the summer air, with good humor, with the scent of cooked meats and cotton candy and spilled beer, with music and a crowd of like-minded revelers surrounding us, the joy continues until the rain falls, and then in the downpur for a moment increases: all this happiness and a waterfall, too. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I want to win the Blondie tickets

Hey Y'all--I am participating in a reading/benefit to celebrate the one year anniversary of Adam Hart's online lit mag Apparatus.  It would be great to see some people I know there, or meet some that I don't.

Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Winston's Internet Cafe (in Andersonville)
Street: 5001 N. Clark
City/Town: Chicago, IL

A reading/benefit to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Apparatus Magazine, a monthly online literary journal publishing poetry and short fiction from around the world. Admission is free. Donations are accepted, and raffle tickets will be available for various prizes throughout the evening. There will also be a silent auction.
A portion of all donations/raffle ticket/silent auction sales will be donated to the Gerber/Hart Library in remembrance of former contributor Rane Arroyo.

Readers for the evening include:
* Amy David
* Charlotte Hart
* Christopher Gallinari
* Cynthia Gallaher
* Daniel Godston
* Divya Rajan
* Donna Vorreyer
* Ellen Placey Wadey
* Gregg Shapiro
* Jacob Saenz
* John Paul Davis
* Laura Dixon
* Mojdeh Stoakley
* Richard Fox
* Robert McDonald

Raffle items include various prizes, including books and gift certificates.

Silent auction includes the following packages (so far):

Literary Inspiration Package:
Blank bound journal
$25 gift certificate to Women & Children First Bookstore
Autographed copy of Thom Gunn’s “Boss Cupid”
Autographed copy of Robert Pinksy’s “Jersey Rain”

Dinner, Drinks, a Show & ? Package
(limited to winners who are 21+)
$25 gift certificate to Geja’s CafĂ©
2 tickets for a Koval Distillery tour (1-hour tour of facility and tasting)
Bottle of liqueur from the Koval Distillery line
2 orchestra section tickets on August 18th to see Blondie in concert at The Venue/Horseshoe Casino
Gift bag of adult novelties from Tulip
Winston's Internet Cafe serves sandwiches, soups, pizza, teas and coffee/espresso drinks, all of which will be available for purchase during the show.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A snippet of poetry from Peter Orlovsky

I look out the window and see nobody, I go down to the street,
          look up at my window and see nobody.

So I talk to the fire hydrant, asking "Do you have bigger tears
         then I do?"

from "Frist Poem"
              Let's all chat with fire hydrants and fences and perhaps an aging automobile in his honor.