Walking Victoria

I think it was attending the Victoria School of Writing (RIP) Summer School session for a week in July 2005 that made me aware of the Planet Earth Poetry series in Victoria, BC. That was the week I met George Bowering and the group of students that would be forever known as the Georgettes: Kim Clark, Linda Crosfield, Valerie Fetherston, Rhonda Ganz, Leslie McBain, Rose Marie Sackela, Pat Smekal and others. This group has meet almost annually since then and we usually meet in Victoria. Attendance at the reading led to a featured reading, which I shared with Catherine Owen in November 2010. The reading series was named after a poem by P.K. Page, a legendary poet who spent her last years in Victoria.

Kurt Cobain Memorial

Kurt Cobain Memorial

All this activity led to getting a call for poems by recent featured readers at the reading and I sent two new pieces. One was selected for the anthology, Poems from Planet Earth, a poem written for Kurt Cobain while visiting his new memorial in Aberdeen in July of 2011. I was delighted to be published in the book and made plans to attend the launch April 12, 2013, at Moka House Coffee on Hillside.

So, I booked the Victoria Clipper and headed to the City of Gardens early Friday morning. My first stop was Jaga Silk, a small tea bar that specializes in matcha, or as they spell it macca. I got the eagle grade and it was the best matcha latte I have ever had. I told Jared, the co-proprietor, that coming there was akin to a religious pilgrimage for me, as I was a matcha fanatic. I then walked to the coffee house, which took about an hour. I snapped photos along the way, though the first one was on my way to Jaga Silk:

Madrone Tree by Empress Hotel

Madrone Tree by Empress Hotel

Nelson's Music

Nelson’s Music

Wellburn's 1

Wellburn’s 1

Wellburn's 2

Wellburn’s 2

Wellburn's 3

Wellburn’s 3

Wellburn's 4

Wellburn’s 4

Taco Justice League

Taco Justice League

Really Smart Car

Really Smart Car

Have a drink

Have a drink

And the last one requires a bit of explanation. In my family, there was a name for a certain female body part that was not very common, but we used it growing up: “Yoya.” When my Mother saw this picture she emailed: “We have our own place!”

Yoya Hair Design

Yoya Hair Design

Tomorrow, the audio from the the launch of the Poems from Planet Earth anthology Planet Earth Poetry reading from April 12, 2014.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB in Seattle and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. He wrote a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger.) He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets, has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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