I help to organize the Art21 series of poetry readings in Palo Alto, and am going to miss tonight’s reading. But I had to drop by in the afternoon to drop off the amp and microphone, and so got to meet Becca Goldman, the artist whose work is up in the gallery right now. I really enjoyed her graceful paintings… and it was nice to meet another sort of punky GenX-y person (she has a tattoo inside her ear) who is seriously into beauty in this complicated but gentle way. I sometimes write about punk rock lesbians smoking crack in the gutter while smashing guitars, and sometimes about lilies and egrets bending gracefully in the moonlight, so I’m down with the multiple facial piercings next to bunny rabbits and camellias.
I also love her for watching M. for a minute while I ran back to the car for the amplifier! She showed him a book about elephants who paint – he was charmed – and I tried to make him have an Educational Experience by pointing out that Becca was an Artist and look at all her paints and palette and stuff… “She is an Artist, just like your Auntie.” M. acted nonchalant. I think he does not like to be observed in the act of learning something – he likes to know everything already when you tell him, but that’s difficult when you’re only 6 years old.
Tonight’s reading features Sharon Olson and Murray Silverstein – both with books from Sixteen Rivers Press. I haven’t yet read Sharon’s book, “The Long Night of Flying,” but I’ve heard her read for years at Waverley Writers, at Jeff Grinnell’s Tuesday nights at the cafe on California Avenue, at the old San Jose Arts League, and at Art21. So I’m extra sorry not to get to hear her read a lot of her work all at once – it’s good!