I am thinking most of the world's authors either live in Los Angeles or make a pass through its bookstores and lecture halls and libraries once a year.
Monday night, I stopped in for a poetry reading in a genuine Hollywood bar, the Good Luck Bar. Here's the address if you want to drink whiskey in a place that reminds people of an opium den. 1514 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, California (323) 666-3524. The two partners who curate and promote the series call it the Rhapsodomancy Reading Series. It has its own web page: http://www.rhapsodomancy.org/, so you can find where Wendy and her co-curator, are gathering the poetry tribes. It's mostly an Amazon tribe. The two have a knack for filling an audience and the line-up with literacy geishas. Only one guy made the evening line-up. And men were outnumbered ten to one in the audience, not that the Amazons paid the men too much mind. The Wikipedia does a nice job of defining Rhaspsodomancy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhapsodomancy
I really enjoyed sitting on bar stools with Bonnie Bolling, a Los Angeles poet gathering some real street credentials, including a PEN Emergent Writer's Award. Bonnie is a happy married woman, so she doesn't derive her poetry from drama. She said she would gleefully kill me, but she'll never consider sleeping with me. She said this in the nicest way possible. I keep remembering the tailgunner from the "World According to Garp", and the happy manner in which he passed his dying moments with Garp's mom, the nurse. How do you think Garp took life, hmm? The dying tailgunner is Garp's dad.
Here's why the hot babe audience shows up for Rhapsodomancy. Wendy and her partner ask sizzling wordsmithees to read: Suzan Lustig read first, and one of her poems mentioned a "warm blanket policy". I don't think my automotive policy has that as a rider; I met Suzan, but I didn't ask her how one could apply.Here's a poem by her, hope the link keeps: http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/Secure/content/cb.asp?cbid=3881. Suzan's new friend, a cute blonde who wore a lovely red cashmere throw, claimed I was scented, "like a candy apple". And then Ms. Cashmere and Suzan split to smoke Camels on the sidewalk, a sidewalk moistened by an early-evening rainshower.
2/19/2013 Note: The link didn't keep. However, here's a link to Lustig's poem about the warm blanket policy.
A woman published on Nerve.Com, Tara Ison, http://www.taraison.com/ made us all sweat as she revealed a laison in an icky hotel between two of her characters, a type-a doctor and a post-nervous-breakdown screenwriter. She wins the award for the most imaginative use of medical equipment in an erotic situation. I invite you to speculate about the erotic potential of a speculum.
I liked Robin Becker's poetry to such a great degree, I paid her afterwards in Camel cigarettes. She tucked them into the pouch of her leather jacket's pocket. She does imitations of Horace just to show off her poetic gift. For a woman who dates women pretty much exclusively, Becker was one of the best babes there. We lit them up, fags that is, before and after the show and talked poetry and life. Here she is reading at Boston College ( http://forum.wgbh.org/wgbh/forum.php?lecture_id=1279). Robin was reading all over Los Angeles the week of April 23, 2007.
Robin was hanging out with another righteous poetry babe, Eloise Klein Healy, (http://www.eloisekleinhealy.com/) who started the writing masters program at Antioch University. She's reading early May at Antioch. http://www.antiochla.edu/. How can Antioch be a bad place to educate oneself when Horace Mann served as its early President?
Oh yes, I should mention the token male writer, Tung-Hui Hu, http://www.minepoems.com/. Tung-Hui Hu has degrees in everything from literature to computer science, and in his spare time vints wine in the Sonoma - Napa valley wine region. He read several great poems, but didn't read all the poems he had promised. We were keeping a count and he was one, disappointingly, short ! Tung-Hui Hu is a great poet, but I liked him best when he started riffing on a few ideas from mythology.