1. Meeting Buck Downs, Michael Ball, Justin Sirois, Jamie Gaughran-Perez, Chris Toll, Kaplan Harris, Ryan Walker, and (too briefly) Cathy Eisenhower in exactly that order. This devoted crew endured both nights and half of them volunteered for the orchestra. “Love ya.”
2. Being given two free Narrow House CDs (Garrett Caples's and Women in the Avant Garde); a split Chris Toll/Buck Downs collection; and a hot-off-the-presses copy of Mike Magee’s gorgeously designed My Angie Dickinson.
3. Mel Nichols’s Valentines plushy puppet, “Love Ya,” singing Stevie Wonder and instantly assuming creepy weekend mascot status.
4. Playing a toy xylophone and kiddy-sized tambourine with Lesley in Drew's FlarfOrchestra.
5. Hearing Rod Smith do a Louis Armstrong and a Bob Dylan voice in the same six minutes.
6. Finding a full-length cashmere coat at a Goodwill inside a renovated church near Baltimore’s Greek Town on a half-price sale day: $7.50. (NB: Lesley did the finding.)
7. Staying in a D.C. hotel with a 7/8ths-scale statue of Marilyn Monroe in “skirt vent” pose in the center of the lobby for no discernible reason.
8. Half-priced hotel burgers in said hotel with Katie and Drew.
9. Drinking in a dungeon-themed bar two doors up from “Madam’s Organ” in Adams Morgan before and after the D.C. reading.
10. Being with Lesley for four days straight with the 3-year-old 3,000 miles away.
1. Not getting a chance to meet poets who came but aren’t in 1. above.
2. Losing freshly roasted Sharon Mesmer in Baltimore. ☹
3. Missing “Dark” Brandon Downing altogether, who had to stay in NYC while his ‘filmis’ did all the work of wowing for him.
4. Failing to get good picture of astonishing gilt Fascist-chic Mormon temple rising from the trees on the way to D.C. from Baltimore.
5. Failing to visit Poe’s grave (cashmere comes first).
6. Neglecting to order Bloody Mary at breakfast in Baltimore.
7. Waving goodbye to Nada and Gary as they sped away in a black SUV through a snap D.C. snowstorm.
8. Having to follow Gary, who was “on”, in the reading lineup on Sunday.
9. Failing to get a commitment from anyone to come to Portland before 2008.
10. Being 3,000 miles away from the 3-year-old for four days straight.
Pictures here (Nada’s), here (Mel’s) and here (Kaplan’s), plus Gary’s write up here.
3 hours ago