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BOOK SHOW, 5503 North Figueroa St, Los Angeles, California 90042
7:30 PM OCTOBER 30
Jim Ruland asked me to note “an unusual event that occured during a reading”:
At CSU Dominguez Hills after a reading I gave, there was a line of people getting books signed, saying hello or asking questions. One tatted rockero kid with shaggy hair said, “You know, in your book, City Terrace Field Manual, you wrote about a woman who was murdered. That was my grandmother.” I didn’t really know what to say, or expect what he was going to say next. “My mom told me to give you this letter. She asked if you could give it to your mom. She said to thank your mom for being so kind to our family after my grandmother died. She always remembered your mom’s kindness. She said she made my mom’s Halloween costume, and helped her get to summer camp. She could’ve come tonight, but she’s in Washington D.C.” I did give the letter to my mom, who is now 90.
“As gentrification sweeps the city, Sesshu Foster has quietly become the poet laureate of a vanishing neighborhood”
maybe when they were attacking—black & white—a man on the run—another man with a big gun, a man in the shadows with shining eyes like glowing tubes in an old radio, girl in slinky attack hair, watch out—keep alert for further details on a secret channel, so they sent flying saucers, they sent Godzilla and gargoyles, flying monkeys with bat wings, they sent John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, they sent fleets of aircraft carriers and destroyers, B-17s and B-52s, they sent secret agents, laconic cowboys and martial arts experts who could smile with a devilish grin, they sent guys with snake-oil pompadours like the spokesman for General Electric, they sent waves of super heroes with magic powers, women in bikinis and stiletto heels, Fu Manchu and Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney and Charlie Chan—they were all sent into the nightmare of burning cities and collapsing continents, through the bubbling mists of sinking Atlantis and Lost Kingdoms of the Congo, they sent Tarzan and Jerry Lewis, they sent Bugs Bunny and all the rest of them into the fiery maelstorm, they sent guys driving fast cars even faster, they sent musculature of Mister Universe and Hercules, they sent tough guys growling out of the corners of the hat pulled down over glinty eyes, they sent wave after wave of attacking Indians and Nazis, Japs and barbarian warriors, Zulus and big-headed aliens all falling in a hail of late night static, in a blizzard of bad reception and rabbit ear antennae, they sent them all (even dancing girls, slapstick comics, dashing leading men) to other planets and outer space, they sent them all to hellish combat against sneering villains with cruel mannerisms, lame-ass dialogue the only thing they had to defend themselves, and “yet against all odds,” against even imagination and reality both, against both actuality of human lives as they are lived (so-called, “the human condition”) as well as more imaginative intelligence, they somehow prevailed—they won! this world was saved. yay.