Reading The Streets


To get there I traveled far. I missed on-ramps. I got on freeways. I passed over passes laden with homeless encampments. I crept past a man in a cowboy hat and boa dancing wildly on an island. I crawled over downtown. I slithered under Universal Studios. I ended at a region of the world yet unexplored, by me.

What awaited me was a literary choose-your-own-adventure fantasy. Young ladies performed poetry in a way that tinged one’s soul. There were strange ideas uttered; talk of “genre fiction awareness” and “literary atlas.” There were book-mobiles, book talks, book readings. They took place in restaurants, buses, cafes, and in the streets. It was as magical and urgent as Halloween – a mad dash – I must imbibe all the reading I can before the night is over.

The first stop on my magical mystery literary tour was Creepy Crawlies presented by Shades & Shadows and taking place at Blastoff Comics. Robert Payne Cabeen, Tiffany Tang, Derek Kim, Thomas Voorhies, and Nicole D. Sconiers read from their macabre but methodical pieces.

Next I walked as fast as my legs could carry me to Choose Your Own Los Angeles with Heyday Publishing happening at Tamashii Ramen House. John Bwarie, Jen Hofer, Rosten Woo, and Jeremy Rosenberg talked about LAtitudes and Under Spring. LAtitudes was not new to me, I had been to the Archives Bazaar and was already intrigued by this idea of LA maps speaking volumes about LA people. Under Spring is an animal all its own, imagine one single space in Los Angeles – in this case a bridge- where so much of LA’s diversity meets and meshes, changes and remains. Under Spring is a collection of oral histories about one bridge from various walks of life – everyone is allowed to say their piece in this piece.

My last stop was The Federal Bar to drink in From The Mouths of Musicians from the empire of fun. Music writers filled the dark back room speakeasy with music, stories, and beat poetry.

Venue to venue, author to author – all of it new and all of it up and down the street. The readings and talks were so small and candid. The energy was so great. I was so enthralled with then unknown-to-me Nicole D. Sconiers that I hastily bought Escape From Beckyville and then ran half a block to catch up with her and request that she sign it for me. The next time I was at the library I placed a hold on Quarantine which was read by half of the writing duo Lex Thomas, Thomas Voorhies. I now have Under Spring in my book collection. I’m planning to ask for LAtitudes for Christmas.

On the drive home I was elated. I was buzzed off of books.

I suggest you imbibe:

Lit Crawl LA

Heyday Publishing / Under Spring

Shades and Shadows – Literature but with Monsters


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