so a water bug isn't a cockroach? no it's just slower and other poems


In Charlottesville, Sam and Noah (Josh's brother) hosted an awesome reading for us at their house. Their friends were all architects. The dog didn't like Seth's beard. Rachel's story had immature goth girls and a mature consideration of death. Natalie introduced her poem about Otto Frank by alluding to her interest in time travel, which opened up the poem for me in a new way that felt awesome. We slept in a basement. Rachel demonstrated her weird mouth sounds. In the morning, I ate a corned beef hash thing that I couldn't really eat because of a cold sore. Josh and I watched Slovakia defeat some listless Italians. The drive to Baltimore was a slop of heat, traffic, sorethroatedness, and freeway construction. We stopped at a gas station in rural Virgina, fifty miles outside of D.C, and there were a lot of flies. Rachel and I couldn't find anything good on the radio.

In Baltimore, I ate perhaps the most interesting dish of the whole tour: some kind of pork shoulder thing with a strawberry salsa and a sweet potato cake. It was amazing, but I recall that you're not supposed to eat fruit and meat together for digestive reasons. Baltimore almost rained but didn't. We heard about a tornado in Charlottesville. Sorry, Charlottesville. We met up with Adam Robinson, who took us to the Hexagon for the reading/performance. The night opened with a YouTube open mic. There were fishing accidents and someone with exploding bananas on their face. Natalie, Rachel, and I all felt very emotional reading because it was our last stop. I read a long poem I hadn't read the whole tour, a long poem about eating a bagel and dying before all of my friends.

We stayed with Adam at a three story gingerbread crackhouse he was house sitting for Stephanie. Alec called the number off a lawyer billboard, and Rachel said "Alec's going to make Mike's tour blog!" A self-fulfilling prophecy if I ever heard one. There were enormous water bugs in Adam's backyard, which Adam said he sometimes raced. He and Stephanie did an amazing amount of work to their place, which used to be a Chinese grocery store. Joe found some saltines, and we ate them. We talked about rationality and irrationality. Later we talked about barmitzvahs and ghosts. Two people who'd recently gone to William and Mary were there, and they were very nice: they fed me some garlic and managed to open a pickle jar I couldn't open. That night, one of Adam's cats peed on my blanket, I think, but I felt both embarrassed and not entirely sure that's what had happened, so I didn't tell him. Until now, I guess.

The next day I took two buses back to Northampton. Feels good to be home. Going to see the dentist tomorrow.

Many thanks to all who hosted us, listened to us, cooked for us, gave us high fives, helped or attended kindly to us in all the noticeable and unnoticeable ways of human betweenness on this tour. All told, it was a lovely adventure, and I was honestly touched to be able to share my poems with so many interesting people, and to tour with such talented roadmates (Rachel and Natalie) and magis (Josh Bolton and Seth Landman). Much love.


Adam R said...

NO WAY. No cats peed. They are perfect angels filled with flower petals.

But I will smell the blanket for confirmation.

Mike Young said...

i concede that i could've peed a new kind of pee / i am very innovative / it was otherwise a very pleasurable night's sleep =)