Monday, March 2, 2009

Down-state = down-great

Yesterday, after stopping by Graceland to see where Elvis lived, loved, and stored his airplane "Lisa Marie"… …we embarked from Tennessee to Illinois, which entailed driving back through a substantial portion of Arkansas. Because I-55 resembled an ice rink… …it took us an hour to go three miles at one point. It was like disaster movie with bumper-to-bumper cars full of edgy, desperate people—stuck buses, jackknifed semis, and roadside slideoffs as far as the eye could see. There was almost nowhere to even get on or off the highway since the ramps were so sludged, which meant that some people who had to pee really, really bad had to go in their their cars--into bottles, travel mugs, bags, whatever. Did I have to do that? Only Kyle knows for sure, and what happens on tour stays on tour. At a service station in Osceola, where we arrived three hours after leaving Karen’s in Memphis, Kyle jockeyed to get a spot at the over-run gas pumps and I ran inside to get the last two greasy pies from the Pizza Inn Express. But once we got to Missouri, the roads instantly became plowed, dry, safe and civilized: Missouri’s nickname is the Show Me state. As in Arkansas should go over to Missouri and say, “Show me how to keep my state from turning into a clusterfucky ice nightmare the next time we get a little snow.” And once we got to Illinois, the roads were perfect and the sun was shining over the mighty Mississip’: Earlier in the day, we’d had our doubts about whether or not we’d make it in time for our 7:30 reading. In the end, we did, and for that we are so glad because the SIU-Edwardsville people know how to do a reading up right:
The University Center restaurant was packed, thanks to the efforts of Lana (pictured to the right, with the beautiful white hair), Wayne (pictured toward the back) and Val (semi-pictured, with the green scarf, behind the gentleman in front of the pillar). Stacey Lynn Brown (pictured in the second row, to the left, behind the table) read from her long-poem- in-sections, Cradle Song, which I bought after the reading, and recommend you buy too.

Last night—March 1st, 2009—was the last time I will ever read from Live Nude Girl—or anything else—as a 28-year-old person. Today, I am 29. Here is Nancy’s hand lighting the candles (just imagine that there are 24 more on there) to prove it: Thanks, Edwardsvilleans, for being so thoughtful and caketacular. This afternoon, we’re going to read at the Illini Bookstore in Champaign-Urbana at 4:30. Happy birthday to me! See you there!

1 comment:

Satch said...

Thanks for the reading, photos and report. As a member of the audience who wondered, as I think everyone did, what the racket was in the back of the room, the constant boom, boom, boom kashoom in the back of the room, I thought I would let everyone know that it emanated from a "Hair Show" taking place downstairs in the Meridian Ballroom. The noise was some sort of instrumental rap (is there such a thing as instrumental rap?) that was being used to accompany the models who were showing off various styles of Afro American hairstyles. This is true. I asked one of the models who was returning from a restroom stop. SIUE needs a proper reading room though everyone did a great job last night considering the circumstances. Thanks again,