Hello, hello! I am arrived home from NPS 2013. Dearest Will and I spent two days (that’s what we could afford for hotel) out in Cambridge. This was a huge decision, not just because it was expensive monetarily, but because it’s expensive emotionally – I’m anxious in cities and always afraid of getting lost or left behind, bars freak me out (and both our bouts were in bars), and slam judges frequently disappoint me. But it turned out to be a good couple days, in spite of the judges and the traffic and the booze

Favorite frames from the last couple days:

Karen G hugs. Omg, Karen G hugs when she arrived at our hotel room.

The Tribute reading: Weeping silently through the whole thing. Matt Richards reading for Ken Hunt. Talking with Gerry Hardesty about Brenda Moossy. Bill realizing that he was wearing Jack’s socks.

The tiny tiny rabbit in the courtyard eating grass as three of us tried for photographs – and then Dearest Will  pointed at Liz’ tattoo for Gabrielle, and we all gasped.

Jenith and Liz in the Lizard Lounge bout – all the hair rising on my arms, the audience feeding electricity into the air.

Sarah’s grimace and gasp as she discovered that the whiskey was JB.

Oz’ shocked grin when we ran into each other in the line at Lizard. He said, “You go out?”

Making the acquaintance of Sam’s friend Dawn and then wandering through Harvard with hir.

Delicious delicious chinese food with Dawn, Sarah, Sam, Liz, Rushelle, Gary, Steve, and Karen. Dawn pulled up some sexy bible on hir phone and Karen and I read with wide eyes.

Standing with Simone at the bar and her commenting on her bitter drink. When I asked her why she was drinking a bitter drink, she said, plainfaced, “Because I’m bitter.”

Nick Fox showing us a video of his black and white bunny, and when I said, “O! He’s dutch!” Nick said, ” Yes, that’s his breed.” (It seems Gunther is on to something.)

Running into Adri Ramiriez  at breakfast, her knocking on the bicycle helmet on her head and saying, “Well, time to go be hispanic!” as she went off to host her reading.

Smoking and discussing Sonic Youth with Sam and Eirean, and Sam gave me and Eirean opportunity to high-5 after I threatened to cut Sam.

Morning sex on fancy rented sheets.

Talking with Jen about anxiety and the lives of cats, and knowing that I want to be her friend.

Eric’s grin and open arms as I raced into them.

The expression on Rushelle’s face when we talked about the news and she said, “…because I’m an anarchist, and…” and then she said, “I don’t want to talk about the news; I want to be happy today,” and told me more about farming.

Watching from the catwalk of the Oberon as the team performed – leaning my forehead against the bars, hanging on their words, willing everything to be all right.

Philly FUSE’s conductor poem at Oberon: “I am just a man waving a stick.” Fuck – ok, all of Philly FUSE at Oberon.

Team photos, including shots of Sarah’s ‘EXCELLENT’ underpants, and then dancing on the sidewalk with Nick after the last prelim bout.

And I’m glad I went, and I’m glad only for a couple days (because burnout, yo). The rest of vacation will be spent painting Our Man Cub’s room and possibly working on a carpentry project in the sun room (depending on time and resources).  The team will be home on Saturday night. This is the letter I just mailed them:

Dear Team –
Dear Shining Stars –
Dear dear Liz, Jenith, Sarah, Sam, and Nick –

Your words are beautiful things. It has been an honor to spend the summer with you listening to them.

Oh, team. You got beat up a little by the judges these last few nights. I hope that the morning has found you refreshed, comfortable in your skin, and regretless. I am stupidly proud of you. I hope that you are too – you performed mad amazing. Hair-raisingly, electricity-crackling, show-stoppingly amazing. It was a treat to see you in action.

I love so much that you brought poetry to the game. Not tirades, not statements, not shouting matches, not editorial. No schlock, no pander, no cheap maneuvers, no tricks or trades  – you brought craft and sweat and lyric. You brought poetry to the table. You brought your poetry to the table and you fed us. I am grateful. It is such good food.

I want to tell you, you are the light around my face, that your sideshow is beautiful, that you look outstanding in the light, that when you lay on the horn I will run to you, that I will sit with you on pic-a-nic blankets because your company is dear. I love you, I love you, I love you.

See you when you get home. We should get together and roast marshmallows.
yer coach.