Los Angeles, CA / Jen Bervin

I’ve been getting two to four hours of sleep each night (jetlag/epic days) since Sunday and it’s officially catching up. I’m run down. I slept on bus in the Excalibur Casino parking lot, woke at dawn, and started drafting and redrafting the final collaborative Los Angeles poem on the bus typewriter. It felt good to be in a poem not a casino. I surfaced around lunchtime miles out at In-n-Out Burger just in time for one “Animal Style.” They have a starkly simple menu, but there are all sorts of special offerings if you know what to ask for when you go. Bill the driver is a pro on this topic and many others. Long, long conversations on the bus today, so much so that my voice is going.

At one point, traffic was creeping along in a construction zone, so Linas Phillips, the filmmaker on the tour who shoots a lot of his footage while skating on a skateboard, jumped out to film a little and got picked up by the cops for skating on the interstate. Two tickets and nine hours later, we made it to the super-friendly Cal Arts reading in Valencia with 45 minutes to spare. Much to my delight they had a beautiful outdoor pool for a night swim. Thankful, very thankful, for the gentleness. There was a terrific art show in the gallery and a vibrant crowd for the reading.

Eileen Myles leaves tonight, much loved. Maggie Nelson joins the bus at Cal Arts where both she and Jen Hofer teach. Noelle Kocot arrives to join the bus. Christian Hawkey arrives to join the bus. Matthew Zapruder, Stephanie Young, Travis Nichols, Christian Hawkey, and Maggie Nelson read tonight. Enlivening to hear new voices among us.

After the Natural History Museum and Machine Project readings tomorrow, I’ll stay behind in LA for the opening of “Many Happy Returns” at High Energy Constructs and will head back to France. The bus is going to be full to the gills as it powers up the West Coast. Five more days, dear bus. Thank you for all. Best wishes to all.

Originally Published: October 19th, 2006