Performance highs

LitQuake 11oct08 Bollyhood.jpg

Here’s a photo my friend Patty H-C took with her iphone of me reading at the South Asian American reading at LitQuake.  (Thanks, Patty!)  Do you love my tiara, or what?  I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I got it at the mall during a two-for-one sale last week.
So, it was my first time at Litquake, a crazy brilliant annual San Francisco event that packs a dozen or so venues within a few blocks with hundreds of writers and thousands of audience members.  I’m grateful to everyone who braved the hordes and came out!  The reading was curated by my dear friend, the talented Pireeni Sundaralingam, for an anthology called Writing the Lines of Our Hands, which will be the first anthology to focus purely on the poetry of South Asian Americans. I read a couple of sections from the book, and a poem. I had the pleasure of reading along with several talented poets and prose writers demonstrating a huge versatility of style and content, from a slam poet/psychiatrist (Ravi Chandra) riffing on his mother’s holy commitment to rice, to a professor (Falu Bakrania) describing her investigative forays into the desi club scene.  
Bollyhood Cafe hosted us, one of my fans bought me a drink, and a sweet friend treated me to some of their yummy bhel afterward.  The Bollyhood team is always fabulous, and it was fun to read in front of a standing/sitting/crouching-room-only crowd!  SMALL COMMERCIAL:  Go to Bollyhood… on 19th St just south of Mission St in SF … it’s really more of a bar/lounge than a cafe, they always have great events going on, awesome community space, and the food and drinks are delicious.
On Friday night I went to a HOT, AMAZING show featuring an incredible lineup of queer/trans people of color performances.  Now, I’ve seen a lot of performance in San Francisco — I mean, a LOT — so it takes a bit to impress me.  Taking your clothes off?  Yeah, yeah.  Syncretizing your childhood trauma and your incisive grown perspective on the injustices of the world?  Uh-huh.  Reclaiming a cultural icon to be queer-positive?  Been there, done that.  
But this show was all that and … MORE.  I’m always excited and impressed to see my dear friends like Vixen Noir, Simone de la Ghetto, and Leah-Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha take the stage, and they were gorgeous as always.  I got chills during Leah-Lakshmi’s reading about love between brown-and-brown, brown-and-white, and the differences between them. And on top of that, there were some sweet surprises.  La Chica Boom blew me out of the water with her taco show (I can’t really say more, but it is NOT to be missed) and her foul-mouthed Virgen de Guadaloupe.  Nico el Rico did a sweet and moving piece about masculinity, growing up with a drill sergeant father in Argentina.
Mangos is kicking off a tour, with a show tonight (Monday 10/12) in Oakland (8pm Eastside Cultural Center, 2277 International Ave, Oakland) and dates in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Denver.  If you have friends in those places, send em to the schedule on the Mangos With Chili myspace page.
Twas a very fun weekend… hope yours was just as fabulous, in whatever way was right for you.