Friday, April 11, 2008

The Resurrection of Harvey Goldner

On February 7 Cinco Puntos Press celebrated the publication of Harvey Goldner’s selected poems, The Resurrection of Bert Ringold at the Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle. Harvey couldn’t make it. He was dead. He died July 4th, 2007, roughly six months before the book was published. Harvey would like me to say it just like that. He would do the same if the tables were turned and I was residing on the other side.

Oh well.

It was a wonderful evening. All of his friends showed up. The open mike poetry scene, the very small press poetry scene, the underground poetry scene, the anti-academic poetry scene, the downtown poetry scene. However you want to call it. His two daughters came, Emily and Amy, tall six foot blonde daughters, one of his sons came, quietly sitting by himself, laughing at his father’s poems. A very good bunch of folks. They got up and read Harvey poems. Funny and wise and thoughtful and beneath the cantankerous humor a truly intellectual and authentic wisdom. Truly one of the best readings I’ve been to in the last several years. Elliot Bay had bought 25 copies and sold those out quickly. I had brought more just in case. They went through 20 more. Quite a good number for a poetry event.

I have written much about Harvey, his importance to me personally and his vision and poetry, on my own blog, but what I want to do here is to thank all the people who showed up, family and fans and friends of Harvey. The celebration was organized by Chris Dusterhoff, Harvey’s friend and publisher at Spankstra Press. Arne Pihl emceed the event, and people from the audience read their favorite Harvey poems. The readers were Chris Dusterhoff, Maged Zaher, Brian McGuigan, Roger Weaver, Arne Pihl, David Fewster, Crysta Casey, J. Glenn Evans, Michael Magee, Emily Goldner, Martin Marriott, Jean Musser, Eli Richardson, Christopher Jarmick. (If I have left anybody out, please forgive me.) J. Glenn Evans brought his recording equipment to document the evening. He produced a show for KSER radio of the event.

We also had a nice post-reading at a bar down the street. The photograph below, right to left standing, are Martin Marriott, Maged Zaher, Chris Dusterhoff, Emily Goldner, me, Amy Wheary-Goldner; and then seated, Adam Hayes (storyteller Joe Hayes son, a radio and video producer who now lives in Seattle), Arne Pihl and his lady friend Kelly. Obviously, I had drunk two porters and one would have been certainly enough. If Harvey had been there, he would have been outside on south Main, leaning his skinny body against a wall and smoking a cigarette, watching the people go by, maybe talking to a homeless guy who bummed a cigarette. He was happiest on the street. He was happiest sober. He had been that way since 1983. You can read about it in his poems.

And remember, buy poetry.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cactus Mary Fountaine

Cactus Mary Fountaine— our hardnosed no-nonsense Lady of Common Sense—turned 50 today. She’s the Cinco Puntos Fulfillment and Warehouse Manager, and she’s been with Cinco Puntos since 2000 or thereabouts. We were still in our house on Louisville Street. Mary also supports Johnny Byrd in managing accounting matters and she has recently moved to a desk up front so she can also manage our retail space. She’s the only person here with two desks.

Once, during a particularly hard month, Mary told me, “Bobby, this business bleeds money.”

“Yeah,” I said, “tell me about it.”

And she did.

In El Paso she’s known as Cactus Mary, a small-business woman who makes and sells wonderful hand-crafted soaps. If you’re here on a Saturday morning during the summer and fall months, please drop by Ardovino’s Desert Crossing for the farmer’s market. Mary, or a cohort, will be there selling Cactus Mary Soaps. Last night, when this picture was taken, the Cinco Puntos gang went out to Ardovino’s to celebrate. Mary had the Chicken Marsala and two glasses of a nice white wine. And today she’s taken her birthday holiday.

Happy Birthday, Mary!