Tag Archives: oakland

an exclusive reading this Friday — plus staplers!

image -- black stapler holding a tomato

This will make sense if you read on -- honest.

This Friday, Declaring Our Erotic readers are going to participate in a private fundraiser in Oakland for the Growing Connections mural project (www.growingconnectionsmural.com)!  You can join us!

Day/time: Friday, July 30 , 6:30-9pm

There’ll be food and drinks, all offered for a small donation, excellent mingling in a lovely West Oakland location, plus an intimate erotic reading!

Please RSVP for address — space is limited to about 30 guests!
Notes about the location:
There is a nice garden area outside with 3 fire pits.
The space is wheelchair accessible, however the bathrooms are not.
There is a big, furry cat who lives in the space. Anyone who is allergic should consider this.
This is a scented environment; all scents are natural, organic and from essential oils, however scent-sensitive folks will need to be aware of this.

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Saturday, Fresh! and I went to the beach at Bolinas, and I followed my urge to swim — I hadn’t brought a bathing suit, but I had brought a change of clothes, so I walked into the water, with all my clothes on, and swam around for awhile.  I still have sand in my hair, which makes for a lovely Monday morning, I think.

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Last Thursday was the first meeting of the MedEd Writers, a group of writers made up of Medical Education Staff at UCSF. We’re getting together for an hour a week, with the idea that 1) taking time out for a break from your regular work is a good idea, and 2) making space for creative engagement will increase your capacity for creativity all through your work day.

We are going to have a lot of fun, I can tell already.

Here’s one of the exercises I offered at the first meeting: I brought in a desktop-full of office supplies (sticky notes, dry erase markers, a rotary phone, paper clips, puffy manila envelope, folders, clamps, and many more). I asked us to notice which object was choosing us, and then we wrote like this: for 5 minutes, we described what the object is generally used for.  Then, for 5 more minutes, we wrote about what the object would like to be or wished to be used for.

Here’s my response to that prompt:

The stapler brings the paper together, it goes home in the crunching, it levels the playing field so no thing gets lost.  The stapler rocks in your hand, it clusters the diaspora, it brings the disparate together by force and sharp teeth; and the mouth is always open, it knows what it’s looking for, it brings home the bacon.

The stapler wishes it could be a rubber band, something elastic and strummy, forever changing shape with the desire and designs of the beloved, something that holds together with a force that doesn’t have to be pried open.  The stapler would like to clutch together a little girls pigtails, but every time it tries, someone screams and gets angry. It would like to clutch gently someday to a round pile of papers, cylinder-ing them into something you could look through, then unfurl, instead of hammering always with a force like the loss of hope, like it can’t trust you to stay together otherwise.

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This week is tonight’s Write Whole workshop, Thursday’s MedEd workshop, and a grant that’s due to Intersection. What’s on tap for you?

On leaving

I’m saying goodbye to Oakland, goodbye lake view and long cement walks, goodbye lake birds who’ve let me stalk and hold you with my eyes, goodbye Preacher man on Sundays and 3-redwood stand in the park across the way and the flock of Canadian geese who take over and scare the dogs away. Goodbye Hanover street and neighbors who rankle and ratchet and share and watch out for each other. Goodbye neighbor with the two small white barking-at-all-times-of-the-day dogs and goodbye walk to Woody’s. Goodbye Woody’s. Goodbye this neighborhood dreams: you have been so good to us. Goodbye up the street flock of chickens. Goodbye neighbors houses with windows we can see into and who can see into ours. Goodbye coin-operated laundry, goodbye one bedroom apartment, goodbye sunset view in the living room and sunrise from the kitchen.

Goodbye Grand Lake Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and goodbye Jack London Square Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Goodbye interracial neighborhood. Goodbye Lake Merritt walkers who say hello and good morning to each other. Goodbye partially blind man who walks the lake every day with his cane and scruffy beard who has lost so much weight. Goodbye bird sanctuary, goodbye Grand Lake district, theater, Parkway (again).

Goodbye walking into the Trader Joe’s and seeing lots of folks of many races. Goodbye morning walk to BART. Goodbye morning view of people making their way into the world, headed to work or exercise. Goodbye morning window writing here in #8. Goodbye walk-in closet/dressing room. Goodbye quick drive to our friends’ for dinner for hsingyi for movies. Goodbye Jack London Square walks, white pelicans in the lake, great blue herons stretching out from morning to dusk with their wingspan. Goodbye Alameda beach walks, goodbye house-hunting for the time being.

Goodbye stairstep sidewinding jasmine and hawthorne. Goodbye Lake Merritt BART and goodbye lurker night herons, goodbye man who sits and listens to headphones and thinks and watches the morning come up over the Oakland hills across the lake from his vestibule outside shelter at the Oakland Auditorium, living there. Goodbye Witnesses at BART, goodbye It’s a Grind at 11th and Clay, goodbye 7am garbage pickup banging, goodbye bright flowering backyard, goodbye electric stove, goodbye big lakeshore eucalyptus and big big oak.

Goodbye Oakland. Just in the living-in way, not in the forever or break-up way. We are always here, too, sheltered, heartsick and home.