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Gas Jugging to This Lil Lit Fest

Missing Targets for Denver

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The NYC Poetry Festival rolled out well enough for us to kick-start our journey to Denver comfortably (asphalt sunrise standards). Our NYC process was corrugated & dense, sopping wet with rain & cop wary, no GMOs, straight bumbling, but we almost sold out Books & Shovels, covering out desert bills + New Jersey gas (thankfully, damn attendants) + snagging up new lit to distribute @ This Lil Lit Fest in Colorado, a multi-day lit crawl thru the Denver metro.

Thanks for putting us up Michael. We got four days till This Lil Lit Fest kicks off, we gotta move.”

Excited to get 2016’s Chapbook Series to Denver, Eric & I dipped quick outta Bushwick late, trying to dodge NYC’s worst (traffic).

“You can’t jug Jersey.”

Damp rattled like a lil orchestra of drunk tap dancers thru a series of convenient wrong turns thru an under construction sign-littered Bronx, stuffing the greedy gut of the E on our gas meter.

Think you can kick-start convenience? Bullshit!”

We escaped traffic into dead Jersey night. The gas light flicked on like a lil ugly orange star. We pulled off the highway for gas to a dead lit station. Well, alright. We pulled back on. & off to another dead station. & on & off to another. & another.

Eh, quite complaining. You’re the one choosing to keep going.”

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Nowhere was open, sign-less & happy to be in business. Nowhere laughed as we pulled on & off the empty highway. We ran outta data for maps. A lil polishing of the taste buds for digital privilege here.

At the next dead lit station refusing our cards, a cop stopped us, telling us off the lot we’d been banging our heads against. “Gas stations are self serving in Jersey. Most close early. Follow that road 3 or 4 miles & there’s one open.”

A sad man with sad eyes and a fat belly pumped our gas in that lil town’s green & brown twig tangled armpit.

With remorse, we pulled into a motel for the night. An inch of Jersey progress had been made. We parked our unsuspecting Damp (no one thinks of mini-vans as dirty kid habitats) between two other unsuspecting cars, & crashed for an early morning rise, cursing Jersey uneventfully exhausted.

Dope Taquerias & The Road to Kansas City

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There are no photos of that dope lil taqueria buried in rural Pennsylvania. It was a desert sweet gem. Nowhere spoon fed us cheap burritos & good salsa.

There are no photos of the gas jugging after Pennsylvania. There’s no photos of the “move along”s or “get outta here”s. There’s no photos of the mileage clocking us thru Ohio + Indiana + Illinois + Missouri.

There is a photo of this beautiful view rigging us up out of bodies into a lil woodland fantasy:

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There are no photos of the beaten Kansas City smile. We kicked it w/ long-time Books & Shovels homie Ezhno Martín & cracked beers over jokes of the baggage Nowhere throws & burns & rewrites for you.

Ezhno threw us some much needed lit for the Denver gig. Our stock was laughingly low.

We closed out our time in Kansas City @ Prospero’s Bookstore, a dope literary habitat we lost ourselves for hours between the margins of.

Oh, we do have photos of those books.

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The road from Kansas City to Denver was stippled with rain & purple lightening lighting Kansas dark stretched over black fields concealing any possibility of horizon.

We pulled into Denver with a pocketful of hours to rest before the first This Lil Lit Fest event.

Internet Folks Gather

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Everyone was anxious meeting each other. Beer & wine & chain smoking were common as handshakes. Nothin’ outta control. Everyone was coping.

Folks talked about comparing online presence & projections w/ the realities of each person. We talked about writing & performing & our tours. People peeled back confessions & dug around on & off stage.

I function best irl. Digitally, I feel more awkward & compressed. IRL, I feel more free to communicate & probe & share ideas. It was good to see the flesh behind the profile pictures.

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This Lil Lit Fest crew

Shout out to Ctch Bsnss, founder of Witch Craft Magazine, for coordinating this gathering.

Shout out to Evil Mtn & Taryn Andrews for reading w/ Witch Craft !!

Shout out to Ctch Bsnss, Khayree Billingslea, Alli Simone Defeo & Steve Roggenbuck for reading w/ Spy Kids Review !!

Shout out to Austin Islam, Addison Herron-Wheeler, Ellie Swensson, Justin Ryan Fyfe, Jonathan Simkins, Erin Taylor, Louis Packard, Gabby Joy, Azia DuPont, Jake Grieco, Frances Amiama, Joseph Parker Okay, Paul Hanson Clark & Precious Okoyomon for reading @ This Lil Lit Poetry Party !!

Shout out to Sunday’s Book Exchange !!

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Books & Shovels

Huge artery finger snappin’ shout out to Ctch Bsnss, Emily O’Neill & Elle Nash for reading w/ Nostrovia! !! Thank you for getting vulnerable & representing 🙂

Shout out to Emily Sipiora, Precious Okoyomon, Elijah Pearson, Jeremiah Walton & Blake Wallin for reading w/ Bottlecap Press !!

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Jeremiah Walton featuring for Bottlecap Press

Shout out to Monday’s byebye brunch !!!

Weird Side Note 

I don’t smoke bud. It makes me anxious. I was a lil stoner in high-school, & those days have passed. I’m more apt for what represses.

Our first night in Denver, I exchanged Mexican candy to a friend from Korea who had candies from her country. After a couple hours of drunken dialogue & sweetened taste buds, our lil crews parted ways. We met up the following day, & she assumed I smoked bud. Her not thinking to ask, & myself not thinking to ask (shit, we’re in Denver), I wordlessly ate the gummy she handed me, assuming it was another Korean candy.

Nawp. Had to bail on the poetry party & lay down in the back of Damp listening to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for the next couple hours till passing out into the most restful sleep of this tour yet.

Amped Miles

We were gifted a couple energy boosting stimulants of sorts before our departure. Ingested & ready to read the odometer home, we gas jugged Denver’s outskirts waiting for our new lil blood boiler homie to settle in.

While we waited, a kind soul with a thin white nose kicked us down a full tank of gas & a gaggle of groceries :

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We weren’t keen on the fried chicken, but the man insisted on ‘protein.’

We fed a bunch of stoners in Tucson when we pulled back in.

To summarize, that night got restless truck stop weird.

“& to NOLALALA!!

New N! homies gather. Sonoran desert rat Sid & her 2002 Chevy Malibu, Siouxsie Sioux, are joining up w/ us for the remainder of the Books & Shovels tour !!

& here we’ve run into a myriad of problems uninteresting to write, the sort of lil details writers leave out of the tale due to their mundane nature, or at least this writer is going to. I don’t want to speak for ya’ll.

Initially intending to depart 8/15, we’ve pushed back the next leg of our tour to departing 8/22 to New Orleans & up the East Coast to New England & out out out to Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Detroit, out Glacier out Yellowstone out Seattle down Portland, & chasing that Pacific South to San Diego, & finally, that much needed Tucson desert sun nap.

So yeah, bye Damp, descansa bien. Well, till I get back & scrap your guts for rent.

& bye Eric. See ya in Flagstaff. Much love for helping out thru the first leg of 2016’s traveling bookstore tour.

Write soon,

w/ ❤

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