Jackie and I had already been hanging out a lot during the summer of 2011, when a series of Anticut marches protesting austerity roved through downtown Oakland as one symptom of the roiling discontent in the wake of the Arab Spring that would shortly manifest in Occupy. Police attention had grown more acute with each march, and there was a moment during the last protest where I was sure she had been cordoned off for arrest, as I’d been in 2008. The old panic rose up in me, but thankfully I was mistaken.
On Saturday, July 24, 2010, Rob Halpern read alongside David Wolach at Life Long Dream Come True in south Berkeley. This reading series, only named toward the end of its run, was held in a house on Ellis and Prince that our friends called “The Compound.” Sara Larsen and I were renting it from a friend-turned-landlord who’d moved to London in pursuit of love and expected to be gone for the foreseeable future.
When I think of Marvin’s writing, I first think always of such an abundance of food: the kind of rich, filling nourishment that’s associated with Black southern foodways. Opening his third book at random yields okra and carrot cake and corn and peanuts and the hot sauce jar all in one poem, but adjacent pages offer teacakes and fried chicken and sorghum syrup.
In 2008, Sara Larsen invited Cedar Sigo to read in her apartment on Oak Street. The event was put on as part of her earthworm press & projects series, which was inspired in part by the Artifact reading series. (Thanks to earthworm’s defunct blog, I can report that this reading, at which the above photo “with APPARITIONS” was taken, took place on July 5, 2008.
A Holy Forest