Archive | December, 2004

Resurrecting Utopia

Contemporary Music, Literature, and Art from the Oregon Territory

In the spring, I’m presenting a series of performances at Richard Hugo House in Seattle addressing the idea of utopia as reflected in Northwest Art. In March, writer Rebecca Brown will collaborate with visual artist Nancy Kiefer to look at the Northwest Mystic Painters. In April, the series will look at the communal experiments of the 1960s, and in May, Rich Jensen a writer and musician who has been involved in a number of utopian enterprises, will collaborate with Phil Elverum, a musician from Anacortes who has recorded music as The Microphones and Mount Eerie.

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Walking the Dog

I live across the street from a swampy vacant lot. Cottonwoods grow on the lot’s margins. And around the lot there are houses, apartment buildings, highways. There are a lot of people who never see one another.

A bird’s nest clings to the tree closest to my subdivision.

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The Absence of Sauerkraut

My father belongs to a generation that lived on Reuben sandwiches. In fact they took Reuben sandwiches for granted as something that would always be available on the menu of any restaurant. A kitchen contained certain things, among them sauerkraut, corned beef, and rye. We were eating lunch at the Deluxe Bar and Grill and they lacked sauerkraut.

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The Two Dollar Book Bin

On the somewhat damp sidewalk in front of a Twice Sold Tales, a local chain used bookstore outlet in Seattle on lower Queen Ann, a store front that used to house Titlewave Books and a reading series named The New Reading Series at Titlewave where I used to sit mum in the small regularly attending Sunday audience in the mid-1990s and listen to great local writers such as Stacey Levine, Dan Raphael, Willie Smith, Anna Mockler, Ron Dakron, Belle Randall, I found a copy of my first book, The Remains of River Names, in the $2.00 bin filed next to a thick guide to Microsoft Access 97. It does not bode well to be filed next to a guide to a nearly ten year old edition of computer software.

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