WEEKEND ROUNDUP: The sinus infection/cold from hell/whatever it was is now clearing up, so I can breathe normally without having to shove a bottle of nasal spray in my nostrils every ten minutes. I could seriously become an addict to this stuff, because I always overuse it and when you do that it becomes less and less effective, so you just keep squirting more and more in.

The reading at the Blended Heritage Festival went fine, although my mouth was dry as the Sahara all night long because of the medicine. There was, as usual, a packed house for the event, which featured music, theatre, art and spoken word from Ferrol Sams and me. I think I've mentioned before that Sambo has been my doctor ever since I was a kid, and he's a helluva writer, too. If you've never picked up Run With the Horsemen (it's available in paperback from Penguin) you are missing out on a modern classic. He hasn't put out a new book in many years, but told me Friday that he was working on a new novel and told me the general plot. It sounds hilarious...and I can't give it away here. Just keep watching the blog and your papers. Sambo always amazes me for being able to reel off long poems from the top of his head. He performed Vachel Lindsay's The Congo and two bawdy pieces by UK poet Adrian Mitchell. Sambo also spoke movingly of his best friend Buddy, a black man who he had known since they were children. The whole evening was fantastic, so hats off to my friend Chris Snell for pulling off another great evening.

I mentioned in my last post that I had rounded up books to donate to poets and writers in New Orleans who had lost their libraries in Hurricane Katrina. Robin Kemp sent this report in from NO this evening:

We dropped off the books today at Common Grounds coffee. They only had about 100, much of it crap genre fiction, so these were most appreciated. When I get back, I want to get the Java Monkey crowd to bring books for New Orleans. Meanwhile, anyone who wants to send them should see the Common Grounds address at www.hurricanepoetscheckin.blogspot.com . They can take UPS or FedEx deliveries, but no US Mail. Much of town is OK. Much more of town is not. Parade tonight felt pretty normal, but today in Gentilly/Lakeview was like visiting an atomic test site. Taking samples of residue for analysis. Seeing lots of familiar faces.

I encourage everyone to donate books to the writers in New Orleans. As I write this, I am surrounded by my bookcases, and I simply cannot imagine losing it all. Take a moment to check out the blog Robin mentions, go through your library and make a donation. I know having to use FedEx or UPS is more expensive, but US Mail service is still incredibly unreliable in the NO area.

I spent Saturday on the couch in a fog. I watched the Wes Craven thriller Red Eye, which was very will done and only about 90 minutes long, so perfect for my short attention span yesterday. And today, I was feeling better and somehow managed to do the March update for the Poetry Atlanta calendar, as well as the paper newsletter that goes out to members. This evening, I went to Java Monkey and filled in for Kodac for the first half of the evening while he was doing a gig at Eddie's Attic. Another great crowd and feature Lori Gaurisco was brilliant.

As promised here's the Blended Heritage poem, which was written to coincide with the theme "shades of you."

(for the 2006 Blended Heritage Festival)

Hotwire your brain,
become colorblind to skin,
it is nothing but pigment, a stain
on flesh, blood is all red,
all the time.

Imagine a painter,
palette in hand, mixing
dark and light, no lines,

Be a master artist,
trial and error,
learn by mistake,
make shade archaic,
let past show through,
but make it memory,


jenni said…
Like that poem, similar to my own process. Glad you're feeling better. Each winter I get addicted to carmex. My lips chap and I use the suff like crazy. When I stop using it, my lips chap again, so the cycly repeats itself until finally I wean myself off. Pitiful, I know.

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