Thank you to everyone who attended our Richard Brautigan reading and open mic at the Clark County Historical Museum on January 13. We heard poetry from Christi Krug, Steve Williams, Constance Hall, Jim Mockford (who read poems by Robert Frost and Alfred Lord Tennyson), Jim Martin, Dan Nelson, Alex Birkett, Dennis McBride, Carter Crockett, Kori Sayer, Mike G, Rob, Mary Otte, Emmett Wheatfall, Jessica Samuelsen, and Mokii. I welcomed my dear friend and partner in truth and beauty, Ernesto Claros, back to Vancouver. It was a great night. We had close to 50 people in the room. I am so proud to be a part of this literary community, which continues to grow.
Special thanks to Susan Tissot and the museum staff for staying open late and being such gracious hosts, and to John Barber, who shared his thoughts about Brautigan’s writing and a few personal stories about Brautigan. Check out John's amazingly thorough Brautigan site, http://brautigan.net/
John Barber shares his thoughts
about legendary NW writer Richard Brautigan
Read the Columbian's brief mention of the reading:
Constance Hall performs a poem by Patricia Smith
Thanks, too, to everyone who attended my talk on courage at National Unpublished Writers Day, which took place on January 30, Brautigan's birthday. The museum plans to make this an annual event. Congratulations to the museum for their amazing Brautigan exhibit and to procuring the Brautigan Library, a collection based on an idea he wrote about in his book The Abortion: An Historical Romance.
Finally, here is the text of a poem I read that night that mentions Brauitgan, written wehn I was living in Queens, NY, working in the Bronx at the H.W. Wilson Company, and pondering how a move out to the Northwest might change my life....
A spiked baseball bat
for Ward Connerly
The sky is slate grey and its raining and a day spent mired in preparation for an article on the dismantling of affirmative action has left me kinda depressed and I’m sitting on the company bus next to a co-worker who may or may not be aware that she is a lesbian and I’m reading Richard Brautigan’s Revenge of the Lawn particularly charmed by the stories for his daughter he is always gentle and sweet and reverent toward her and I gaze out the window wondering “is this how it’s going to be in Washington?” wondering whether I’ll be able to handle it or will I succumb to light deprivation anxiety I don’t drink coffee after all (except with my love) and Rose is on the bus and the nervous disheveled girl who reminds me of Marie Grosso my first girlfriend in tenth grade who would not kiss me no matter how far into the woods we went and I listen to the excited chatter behind me as the bus makes its way down the street and as we turn the corner I once again check out a brick wall where someone has painted:
and we pass Dean’s Shoe Shop and JCR Percussion and Highbridge Fashions (now closed) and I wonder about the folks living in these tiny apartments we pass and just then I notice a sliver of blue splashed across the horizon above Yankee Stadium and the windows on the apt. building light up and twinkle like glitter and as the green greenery of the oh so green trees passes by I become happy as I nod my head to the tune I have just constructed but before this new attitude can take hold I see a blonde haired girl with one hand over her newly bruised eye speed down the street, her righteous swaggering red bandanna bedecked boyfriend a few menacing steps behind and now I sense that it is truly time to go home.