Sunday, May 08, 2011

Reading and Roading in California

Once again I'm in the air, in mild disbelief that the driving-reading tour of southern California with Seismosis collaborator Christopher Stackhouse has concluded. As I noted in a prior blogpost, we read on Wednesday at the University of California-San Diego, in their Black Box Theater; on Thursday at California State University, San Marcos, in their Commons Theater; and on Friday at the Poetic Research Bureau's/Public School's reading space in Los Angeles's Chinatown.  I have thanked all of our hosts, meal companions and attendees directly, but let me again say many, many thanks, for the invitations, the meals, the conversations about all manner of things (Afrofuturism,  the crisis and effects of public university funding and the larger societal dismissal of the humanities, translating forgotten poets and trippy Argentinian novels, Hilda Hilst, the diminishing enrollment of free classes on Baruch Spinoza, St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans in Los Angeles, Cheikh Anta Diop, mental colonization and oppressive consciousness, UCLA vs. USC, life without an automobile in Los Angeles, fishing in Key West, the constrained appeal of loquats, the need for higher marginal federal tax rates, Ben Shahn, the genius of Geoffrey Chaucer, etc.), the books, the laughter, and especially the directions!

Chris and a friend of his had previously taken a cross-country road trip a few years ago, and some of my students have sung the praises of long and shorter trips over the years, but the furthest roadtrips I've trips since arriving at the university have been 1) to Milwaukee to read (which isn't very far at all); 2) Saint Louis to visit family members (again, not that all that far); and 3) with C back to New Jersey a few years ago, a trip I always remember fondly because almost immediately upon our arriving on the raceways of the Garden State, a furious rainstorm began, and it was only through C's steadiness behind the wheel and presence of mind that we got home in one piece. I think I still prefer traveling by train or plane more than cars, but this trip has subtly shifted my opinion.

For J's Theater readers from San Diego, San Marcos (are there any?) or Los Angeles, these images may induce leaden lids, but if not, do enjoy.
San Diego from the airplane
San Diego from the airplane
The Pacific!
The Pacific Ocean
Surf school, San Diego
Surf school, Mission Bay Pacific beach, San Diego
On Mission Bay's main beach
Mission Bay, San Diego
On the UCSD campus
On the campus of the University of California, San Diego
Kroc Peace Ctr. reflecting pool & vista at USD
Kroc Center for Peace Studies reflecting pool, on the University of San Diego campus (poet and friend Jericho Brown gave us a brief and enjoyable tour of the campus)
Cal State San Marcos
Main plaza, California State University, San Marcos
Driving north to Los Angeles
Rural southern Orange County, heading north to Los Angeles
The 101, Los Angeles, with zeppelin
101 freeway in Los Angeles, with zeppelin
Union Station, with homeless people sleeping on the grass in the foreground
Union Station in the background, homeless Angelenos in the foreground
From the top of the LA railway (funicular)
Los Angeles railway (funicular)
Nancy Rubens sculpture, LaMOCA
Nancy Rubens sculpture, LaMOCA

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