After a day that was alternatively windy, fine, and torrential, we arrived in Saskatoon with empty stomachs and a full trunk.
(The vortexes of snow/canada geese, the wet tug of oncoming semis, the raucous teenagers at the gas station...)
And thanks to Kerry's oft-deprecated but unerring sense of direction, we easily found both our hotel and the bar where Tonight It's Poetry took place.
Harvey and Brenda were sitting at the ideal vantage point when we arrived. I won't say I planned the tour just as an excuse to see B, but it was VERY lovely to see her again.
And she gave me a nifty 'launch gift' - a necklace from Reflections North, whose booth we'd seen at the A Night on the Old Trade Route concert in Cranberry Portage in the spring.
I was already wearing my manuscript necklace - the one I bought the day I finished the full manuscript - as a kind of talisman but I look forward to wearing it later in the tour. Pretty!
Given that we hadn't eaten very much over the course of the day, we were very happy to see that Flint bar had food on offer, which turned out to be an astounding platter of bits and bites.
Mine included little portions of smoked ostrich and lamb as well as cave-aged gruyere, mustard beans, and artichoke hearts. It came with an entire loaf of bread, too, so it was filling and delicious. A definite improvement on the fare from the 'family restaurant' in Russell, Mb, where we'd had lunch.
Kerry and I had been offered spots in the amateur portion of the evening, which meant we had seven minutes each. Given the tumult of the last few days, I hadn't had much time to practice reading the poems in the chapbook, many of which I'd never performed publicly.
So I excused myself and went outside to stalk the wet sidewalk and intone the poems I'd chosen in the car that afternoon.
I've decided that I will perform Eight Months: the peanut gallery at every event, getting Kerry/friends/random audience members to read lines. Both Brenda and Mitch Spray, who I met at Sage Hill in July and managed to insult several hundred times over the course of our ten days there, contributed this time.
(But first, B had to complain about the the size of the type, the lack of light with which she had to read, and the fact that she had to share a photocopy with Mitch.)
I also read the train poem, which is among my favourites.
The only snafu, reading-wise, was that while I'd chosen poems and haphazardly rehearsed them, I hadn't thought about how to describe the chapbook to a room full of new-to-me people.
I reverted to my Sigourney Weaver/Aliens image of pregnancy, but I'll have to think of a phrase or two to describe the book for the events in Edmonton.
* * *
Tonight It's Poetry Set List:
Five months: all knocked up
Eight months: the peanut gallery w/Mitch Spray and Brenda Schmidt
Eight months: the gathering
* * *
Books sold: 3
Books remaining: 18