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Crimes of Dispassion, Death Grips at the Showbox in Seattle June 19, 2015

Death Grips at the Showbox in Seattle on June 19, 2015. Photo taken by Cassandra Bermudez-Lopez (@casskittie).

Um I don’t get it. I thought at first, “How can any woman really go see the Death Grips and not defend AC/DC?” And then I began to wonder how can any human person go see the Death Grips and not defend AC/DC, or for that matter defend sexual violence?

There were woman in the audience, so it was all right, wasn’t it? It wasn’t a secret male hate rally against women kind.

There is a thread of sexual violence toward woman by men (and a rare and occasional response from women such as Geechie Wallace nearly 85 years ago in “Skinny Leg Blues” (1930):

I’m gonna cut your throat baby, gon’ look down in your face
I’m gonna cut your throat babe, gon’ look down in your face
Ah, I’ll look down in your face
I’m gonna let some lonesome graveyard, be your restin’ place

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Samuel Delany Proposition at The Science Fiction Museum

Samuel Delany
I saw Samuel Delany speak at the Science Fiction Museum as part of Clarion West’s reading series. He read from his recent novel, Dark Reflections that has been called an alternate autobiography. (Steven Shaviro has a good review here.) It follows the story of Arnold Hawley, a gay black man and poet, whose ambitions, aspirations, and even sexuality becomes derailed not through any climatic event but through a lifetime of hesitation and observation. In his reading, Delany introduced the book as a kind of story to let the aspiring writers in the creative writing program where he works know what they are in for if they kept at writing and not paying attention to more wordily concerns. Although he made it sound like a kind of cautionary tale — I suspect this kind of advice to writes in a writing program is like standing on the edge of a cliff and warning the lemmings that they are headed in the wrong direction. Lemmings don’t even speak English — the pieces he read portrayed a man at peace with just possessing powers of observation. Unlike the other science fiction writers I heard read at Clarion West’s series, Delany portrays a rich, sensual world that is completely ambiguous in its meaning — there wasn’t a morality track or narrative track keeping the reader cued into the meaning of the work.

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Series A Reading in Chicago – A Report

Virtual ChicagoSo my business in Chicago was completely virtual, or rather it had been enabled by the virtual although it was going to happen in rooms with other people. Echoes of the virtual would layer over everything that happened. In meeting Bob Archambeau, the first thing he said was, I saw you updated your blog.

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Quimby’s Bookstore Report: A Region of Brick

Quimby's Indie Bookstore
I realized immediately after I entered Chicago from O’Hare, that I knew nothing (really) about Chicago. This is what I know about Chicago: I have read books set in Chicago and I’ve talked to people from Chicago. The people I’ve talked to from Chicago often complain about hot dogs in other cities. Since hot dogs hardly seem like edible food, perhaps in Chicago they are good?

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Thank You Nabakov, Longview WA

bothell.jpgA couple of weeks ago I read in Bothell at the U Bookstore on the UW/Cascadia CC campus with Eli Moore. He and his friend played a lot of great songs from Eli’s new band named “Lake.” There were horn parts, for instance, that the two musicians sounded it out with their mouths. They also sang an old song from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. For the lit game, I asked people who came to to the reading to write a thank you card to a musician, writer, video game, whatever, that had provided them a meaningful experience somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Say, they read Lolita in Longview, and it meant something to them. Write a note to Nabakov. They traded their notes and affixed them to a map of the Columbia River drainage.

Here is a PDF of their postcards. (11.2 MB PDF)

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Rain, Flying Trees, The American Book Award

When I left Seattle on Thursday heavy rain was falling and my father-in-law had told me that hundred a mile an hour winds would be coming. When he began to talk about the rain and the wind, my wife and I had a plane to catch and we didn’t listen to him, much.

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Death to the Bookstore, Long Live Books and Stores

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Jackson’s Books in Salem where I read in 2002 and where I just read last night from Shoot the Buffalo (after a four drive there/four drive back) is closing at the end of this year. The co-owner of the store, Greg Millard, hid in the back well past the time the reading should have started. I wandered the stacks and tried to recognize anyone (the two or three patrons) who happened to be in the store. I could tell I freaked them out because they left. I was the only one in the store.

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Orca – No Report

Clear Cut Press and Kick(KickBall) at Orca Books in Olympia on October 8th, 2006

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Heck No Report 2006

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What the Heck Fest is already laid back and in fact it was so laid back this year that everyone was laying on the grass staring up through the trees into to the sky at Causland Park on Sunday in Anacortes. I missed what was reported as a great show with Anna Oxygen, The Blow, Karl Blau, and Yacht at the town hall. Someone said to me, “Everyone was good. They all seemed on.” Instead of seeing any live music, I drove to the top of the rocks around Anacortes and looked at water. I watched Syd Barrett videos on YouTube.

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Berkeley Reading at Pegesus Books

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Ayah posted the report of the reading at Pegesus Books, as did Kitchen Sink. I will have more in a day or two once I get my feet from returning from California. On Sunday at 4 p.m. I was in the Mojave Desert. On Monday at 8 a.m. I was within ear shot of the Renton S Curves.

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