Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I've been spending the last few months in California and I've developed a fascination with the following: Westerns, smoothies, and taco trucks. My fascination with Westerns has been infiltrating my writing. Last year, it was manga. Now, Westerns. I used to hate them. I remember channel-surfing and only watching a syndicated episode of "Bonanza" when absolutely nothing else was on. That show was equivalent to a helpless sense of boredom in a flat-lining late afternoon. I finally saw "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and I finally get Clint Eastwood. I also love how the extras clearly look like they're Spanish and not American. Apparently, the movie was filmed in Spain during the Franco regime.

I've made little mini-travels for readings and have been reuniting with old grad school friends. In Chicago, I read with a friend, Arda Collins, who is a really fantastic poet (if there is any justice in this world, her manuscript will find a penthouse of a home). Chicago has a really great literary scene--Joel Craig operates a cool series at Danny's. It's lively and crowded rather than a little bit dismal like how some readings can be. Robyn Schiff and Nick Twemlow were our dear hosts (also fearsome poets--Robyn has a yet untitled book forthcoming in 2008). A month ago, I also jaunted off to San Francisco to read with the amazing Lyn Hejinian who read a nautical series that I'm very very eager to see in print. I met Barbara Jane Reyes who I was happy to meet (if you haven't done so, you must find her book "poeta en san francisco"). I hung out with old friends--Chris Chen, Susan Maxwell, Shane Book, Xochi Candelaria, and David Lau who all made me nostalgic for grad school when everyone was very impassioned about poetics--it made me impassioned all over again. I also hung out with a very pregnant Malena Watrous (if there is any justice in this world, her novel will be in every airport lounge, Barnes and Noble, inside the satchels of every citizen riding public transportation) and Liz Goodman, a dear friend way back from middle school, who is having a wedding soon where she will wear a fuchsia dress and Mike, her fiance, will wear a green tuxedo. It is not a wedding. It is performance art. They actually asked me to pen a poem for it. I agreed to do so. I figure if this poem for poem's sake doesn't work out, maybe I'll start a business where I will write for commemorative puposes only. A poem for a wedding. A poem for a birthday. A poem for Groundhog's day. A poem in protest of taco trucks being run out of the city of Salinas. That I will most definitely do.

How I love the taco truck. There is not a better meal than a Juarrito mandarin flavored soda and a mulita with carne asada with salsa and pickled radish. I wonder if I can smuggle a taco truck back to New York?


At 7:58 AM , Blogger Gary said...

I remember Salinas. Though I haven't been back there since the 70s.

There are taco trucks in New York, although I'm not sure they are as good as out west. Nada goes to one in Brooklyn near Pratt.

There's one usually parked just off Broadway at one of the 1/9 subway stops, between 90th and 110th Street.

On a related note: keep your eye out for the woman who sells tamales on the street. She has no one place that she sticks to. I've run into her only twice in the decade I've lived here--once on 44th Street and once on 9th Avenue--and each time bought what were the best tamales I've ever had.

At 6:53 PM , Blogger Cathy Park Hong said...

thanks! I hear there are a few near the soccer fields in red hook and a few in jackson heights. i will hunt for them.

At 9:35 AM , Blogger Ed said...

That taco truck is invariably on 96th, just west of Broadway!

At 4:24 PM , Blogger Mark said...

That's such a funny idea. I could see the poem career leading to teaming up with cards and invitations, maybe some cartoons to go with them... hmm, maybe you could team up with someone on Not a bad idea.


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