West Coast / PNW Tour 2018: Octopus Literary Salon, Oakland CA. Reflections by Richard Loranger.
Jane + Dave sittin in an Octopus
making pretty words + stuff
formed in the world of 2012
Vietengscot Bulgarada Spance +Elfiland
want to build.
I’m finally home in Oakland, happily happily home. The travel was really quite fun, it was, and the tour is not quite done, it’s not, but happily home am I. I’ve always loved being on the road, thanks to Kerouac and the beautiful world, by plane train car thumb or foot, and I’ve often agreed with Emerson that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that satisfies (though sometimes that destination is fine), but I don’t believe either foresaw the particular wrenching and soul-stripping gauntlet we now know as 21st Century American aviation. Having just been through five airports in just under ten days, I’d like to offer a short-dozen pointers to the eager (or wary) traveler of air.
Something opens. It is a mic.
J. DeSalvo is the other one, walks through the streets of Buenos Aires, likes hourglasses, the taste of coffee, shares, has achieved some valid pages, is destined to perish definitively.
1) Enter the airport wearing clothes. Keep them on at all costs.
R.D. Landau knows exactly where and when you’ll get married, murders every mosquito, will get lost in all this safety, is so tired of people peeing in the bushes, has cardamom under her nails, grows sugar crystals in the bathroom sink.
2) If you’re going to check a bag, don’t put anything in it. That will save you the PTSD from having your personal items fondled, sniffed, and inappropriately inspected.
Gianvanna Ortiz de Candia’s melancholy is absolute hysteria, sees you every day, wants a little more, is in every moment, is what sings, should do a good job of it, should love fully, is okay with her own ghost, leaves a piece of herself there, is not there.
3) If you’re nervous in the TSA line, stand behind the millennial with the word NIHILISM tattooed across their forehead.
Adam Smyer lies like a child, ridiculously, is watching you sleep again, almost forgot to tip the movers, was in the bushes, walked right in, cuddles with the furnace, sleeps standing up, knows you’re there.
Something closes. Something opens.
4) If you low like cattle in the endless and tortuous queue, it will seem to go a lot faster.
Jane Ormerod was no such man, the man with the hand, belongs within that, hand held with the birds, no need to worry alarmists, fancy poodles, could hear his body from the shipyards, will place the whole caboodle and kit, sewed a city where a hold is a clue, sprinting inside the fire, welcomes flowers, drank velvet values, refused to row another’s boat ninety years late.
5) Don’t sweat. For god’s sake, don’t sweat.
Cathyann Cusimano comes for you, brings a ribbon, creates a basement, stuffs all that ancient back in, vibrant burst, welcome to sudden thunderstorms, a butterfly kiss, had cookies for breakfast, cut the legs of traveling salesmen, is going to be is not going to be is is, should have waited for the chicken.
6) Don’t lie about anything. They’ll know. Don’t tell the truth either. Do something in between.
Cassandra Dallett is warm and cozy, still speaks in a cold voice, sits in a back room digging deep, a composite of many, cast iron and brick, is too busy feeling it, is made from this music, can smell the house she grew up in, a place she belonged, soft and easy as warped wood floors between geranium and lithium longing, if she can just clean it all up, telling truth, cutting through the ceremonious shitstorm.
7) If it gets to be too much for you, click your heels together three times, saying, There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. Wait, that won’t work.
Heikki Huotari is most closely aligned with today, has a mobius belt, can imagine a scenario, was short-sheeted when all other spiders are suspending, yields his time to himself the more the miracle spins, is this wheat field, can’t emulate the smile, changes course, is a function of the luminosity.
8) Take your shoes off. Don’t take your shoes off. Take your shoes off. Don’t take your shoes off.
Kit Kennedy wants to begin right where we are, steeped in desire, insisting, here is your there, absorbs then reflects the unfolding, paints the day’s palpable sorrow, caught mid-sentence, do not refuse kindness, please consider why red is more memorable than green, simply happens, outlasts the night, drops sixteen floors, captures the unconscious in a watery blue.
9) Feet wider. Hands in the air. Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t move.
I twiddled my thumbs while singing of fire and water. Everything is alive.
10) Don’t tip the person who pats you down. It’s not that kind of pat down. Not that kind either.
Carol Dorf takes a turn on the road to exile, leans forward in the little chair, thought it was funny, those who hold fast, shot in a supermarket, shot in a synagogue, that’s what the boy wanted, holds truth, his parents cry, not enough when funny is at stake, interrupts the domestic, reminds neighbors to point their security lights down, memories on a tape somewhere, needs to uploaded or downloaded, celebrates fragile equilibriums.
11) If you hear your name announced, ignore it. Whatever it is, you don’t want to know.
David Lawton loves to visit so much, zoinks, her black star eyes swallowed him, dwelled where paisley and bellbottoms endure, trucking down the street forever goofy cool, if she would only come through a wilderness of pirates and witches, wet nose imprint domicile picking out the ancient scent of abandonment, tried to whitewash the idea of healthy slobber, was suddenly big enough, was growing up on a Friday night late in November, called a doppelganger, intrepid reporter, dedicated couch potato, the night all around solid black, the house trembling and groaning, there is nothing to be afraid of.
Once you arrive at your destination, shower three times, scrubbing well with sandpaper, then promise yourself you’ll never put yourself through that again. It will be a lie. But whatever you do, don’t click your heels together three times, saying, There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. That’ll take you right back to the TSA line.
Then turn and look out at the beautiful world.
Our final show of the tour:
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