"Hello!" Leah said, sweeping through the door, a downright sexy blonde, smiling smiling, heels clicking, twenty people trailing behind her, and right behind them handsome smiling Luke B. Goebel, Leah's friend who'd read with her, who'd arrived in the RV he was traveling in, and behind him, twenty more smiling people, the room was buzzing in a way I'd never heard, and here was Dena Rash Guzman, a Portland poet and friend of Leah's, and might she read, too?
I am forgetting what order they read in, but not, never, that each hit the ball so far out of the park that part of me feared the next must comparatively ground it, but no, that ball just kept going, it was breathtaking, adrenaline-making, everyone filling with a giddiness that burst once the readings ended, we all went on talking and laughing, and I thought, if this were what literary readings were like, I'd go every night, I'd be an addict, and also, that this was all Leah's doing, that she brings it with her.
The following is from Leah's new chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream.
Don Discovered America
That’s not true: America made Don. It plucked him from the heartlands just like that: self-contained and self-sufficient. Then, he multiplied: country boy/war hero/fur dealer/ad exec/woman-slayer. He had you at hello. He had you at minx. He had you at, you smell good.
He was the new idea. He was that riffing.
He had you at hello.
He had you at minx.
He had you at, you smell good.
[You do smell good, America]
But, Don, the common cure for breakfast isn’t LIFE, it’s a serving of good old-fashioned competition.
[but, you already knew that]
A little makes the grass grow greener; makes the skyscrapers….
[wait … scratch that. ]
I am a force of good, but even I know that wanting and having are two different things.
I want you to make me think, and make me not think.
Sure, I’m a girl, but I’m uncovering the looks. I’m reinforcing the discovery.
I’m recovering from the first shatterings. When push comes to shove, I want sight.
[Here’s a fact from Don: 45 % of people see the color blue as the same color]
I want you to see what I see. My blue. See my blue. I want to be the 55%. Be with. Try one on with me.