May 23, Friday evening -- Reading Fleetwood and Watchword

At a book release party at Marcus Books in the Fillmore District for Hip Hop Tried 2 Kill Me--this is the author I met on Market Street on Wednesday night.

He read from the book and talked. At one point he waxed philosophical. What we need, he said, is cornbread trucks, bringin' soul food to this city. They would play gospel hip hop. That's where hip hop is going, he said. He gets up in the morning and, first thing, does his push ups and prays, owing his strong Baptist background to his mother, a social worker who died when he was seventeen. He spent some time in the pen, but it's G - O - D who put him back on top again. Do you feel me? he asked his audience, Are you feelin' me, man? , drawing the crowd close. I'm sorry we had to leave.

From the book release I was off to yet another release party, this one for Watchword, a biannual publication, that was celebrating their tenth issue.

Below is Tavia Stewart, a member of the editorial team and the MC for the night, which included readings by Britta Austin, David William Hill, John Peck & Andrew Touhy and live Music by surf rock villains The Cool Night Air and Lap steel guitar by Jesse S Clark.

My favorite story was prefaced by a "you'll probably figure this out as I get into it, but Ikor is a bird." The first line began something along the lines of "Yesterday Ikor told me he wanted a pony." Hmmmm.

I've forgotten the author's name....and I may have gotten the bird's name wrong, too.

All the readers were great.

Also fun was John Peck's Helping Reader's Digest. He says--"The process by which these poems are written consists of selecting words – in the exact order and tense in which they appear – from a single work of literature, and then adding punctuation, line breaks, and capitalization so that each work is condensed into a poem of no more than 40 lines." He coedits this:

What could be a better Friday night--two release parties, music and drinks. For the record, it was out of politeness that the photo below is fuzzy, not intoxication. I hate using flash when people are trying to concentrate.

Have you been to any good book releases lately?