Posts by: Charles Kruger

The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #22: Poverty Is Never “Genteel”

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Poverty may have been beloved of St. Francis, but not so much by the rest of us. Nobody likes to look at advanced poverty, toothless and drooling, clutching the hands of children who have running sores on their filthy legs. Poverty is a crackhead who pisses on the pavement, and sleeps with fleas and stray dogs.

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Notable San Francisco: 3/22–3/28

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Wednesday 3/22: Kick off spring 2017 with an unusually large array of choices for a Wednesday night:

Graham Foust is featured at the Holloway Reading Series at the University of California, Berkeley. Free, 6:30 p.m., Hearst Field Annex, Room D37, UCB.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #21: Not Yesterday’s Demonstrations

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1972: War was waging in Vietnam and kids were coming home in boxes. Hippes and yippies went clean for Gene McCarthy, but George McGovern won the democratic nomination. Tricky Dick Nixon was the one for the Republicans and the so-called Silent Majority.

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Notable San Francisco: 3/15–3/21

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Wednesday 3/15: Paul LaFarge (The Night Ocean) is interviewed by Daniel Handler. Fans of H. P. Lovecraft will be intrigued. Free, 7:30 p.m., Green Apple Books on the Park .

Joan Frank (All the News I Need, winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction) is interviewed by Peg Alford Purcell.

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Notable San Francisco: 3/8–3/14

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Wednesday 3/8: The Museum of the African Diaspora, as part of their current exhibition Where Is Here (curated by Jacquelyn Francis and Kathy Zarur), celebrate International Women’s Day with a discussion featuring mixed media and installation artist Asya Abdrahman and writers Faith Adiele and Tonya M.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #19: Are YOU My Hero?

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This week, I’ve found myself thinking about heroism. What makes a hero, anyway? Who should we choose for our heroes?

When I was around fourteen, I developed a hero crush on W. C. Fields, of all people! I was delighted when I read about the time he and John Barrymore gave a ride to a hitchhiker on a country road, and then threw the poor man out of the moving car when he began preaching at them for being drunk.

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Notable San Francisco: 3/1–3/7

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Wednesday 3/1: Journalist L.A. Kauffman, (The Nation, Mother Jones, The Baffler, etc.) reads from Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism. Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.

Poet Kendra Tanacea launches her debut collection, A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, from Lost Horse Press.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #18: Keeping Our Balance in a Time of Turkeys

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Yesterday, walking home along the wet pavement twinkling under the sunshine, I spied a flock of no fewer than twenty-four wild turkeys parading down the street, mostly chicks.

I don’t see them today, as the rain has returned, and all is gray.

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Notable San Francisco: 2/22–2/28

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Wednesday 2/22: John Darnielle (Wolf in White Van) reads from his new novel, Universal Harvester. Free, 7:30 p.m., Booksmith.

Roof Books presents David Buuck (Co-Founder and Editor of Tripwire), Jean Day (The Triumph of Life), and Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution Laura Moriarty (Who That Divines).

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #17: Oppression, Ownership, Turkeys, and Roses

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Politics has become a bloated balloon on the horizon of our days, marked with the face of the Pr*sident, grinning under his orange corona like a demented sun-god, a raucous Ra. It burns.

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Notable San Francisco: 2/15–2/21

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Wednesday 2/15: Simone White (House Envy of All the World) reads for the Holloway Series at UC Berkeley. Free, 6:30 p.m., UC Berkeley Hearst Annex.

Min Jin Lee (Pachinko) reads her novel about generations of a Korean family.

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Notable San Francisco: 2/8–2/14

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Wednesday 2/8: Poet Brandon Brown reads. Free, 7:30 p.m., Moe’s Books.

Thursday 2/9: Adam Hochschild, National Book Award Finalist. Free, 5 p.m., Morrison Libray at UC Berkeley.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #16: The Game Is On

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Today is the day that Pr*sident Trump shut down the American borders to refugees, green card holders, and non-citizens with paid for and improved visas—if they were from certain “Muslim majority” countries… It is also the day his administration made it clear that, going forward, “Christian” refugees would be given priority over all other refugees—and then denied the existence of a religious test.

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Notable San Francisco: 2/1–2/7

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Wednesday 2/1: Former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and sculptor Murray Dewart (co-authors of Poems About Scultpure). Free, 7:30 p.m., Pegasus Books.

Otessa Moshfegh reads from her first collection Homesick for Another World. Free, 7:30–9 p.m., The Booksmith.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #15: Contemplation + Politics

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Thomas Merton, the most prominent Catholic monk of the 20th century, famously left the world to live a cloistered life at the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemini in rural Kentucky, taking vows and becoming Father Louis. As many will recall, he described his journey to the cloister in one of the century’s masterpieces of memoir, The Seven Story Mountain.

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Notable San Francisco: 1/25–1/31

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Wednesday 1/25: Perfectly Queer presents Funny Bits: Humorous Stories from East Bay Queer Writers featuring Ajuan Mance, Willy Wilkinson, and Anna Pulley. Free, 7 p.m., The Octopus Literary Salon.

John Else (True South: Henry Hampton and “Eyes on the Prize,” the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement) in conversation with Spencer Nakasako and Orlando Bagwell.

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Notable San Francisco: 1/18–1/24

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Wednesday 1/18: Litquake and the San Francisco Public Library present “No Shadow Without Light: Writers Respond to Trump” with readings by Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, Robert Mailer Anderson, Devorah Major, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Alejandro Murguia, Ishmael Reed, Tennessee Reed, and T.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #14: Altered States?

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In my last column, the Muse inspired me to write about dreams. And since then, I’ve been thinking about other types of altered consciousness. As a guy who often hangs out with Catholic monks, and who practices “Will Rogers spirituality”—that is, I’ve never met a religion I didn’t like—I take an interest in miracles and myths of all sorts, and the season of Christmas, Chanukah, and the winter solstice (the pagan Yule), which all speak of the miraculous arrival of light in darkness, is a good time to reflect on such matters.

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Notable San Francisco: 1/11–1/17

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Wednesday 1/11: Passages on the Lake (hosted by Paul Corman-Roberts) presents Daphne Gottlieb, Sonya Renee Taylor, Tracey Knapp, Derrick Carr, and Haldane King. Free, 7 p.m., The Terrace Room.

Shanthi Sekaran (The Prayer Room) reads from her new novel, Lucky Boy.

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Notable San Francisco: 1/4–1/10

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Friday 1/6: Jon Sindell launches his new book of stories, Family Happiness. Participants in this event include Kyrsten Bean, Michael Crabtree, Steven Kacsmar, Lynn Mundell, and Sandra Wassilie. Free, 7 p.m., Octopus Literary Salon.

Saturday 1/7: Aggregate Space Gallery and Featherboard Reading Series will celebrate five years of literature and art with a Small Press Book Fair featuring Bootstrap Press, Nomadic Press, Featherboard Writing Series, SpeCt!

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #13: Such Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

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Do you keep a dream journal?

I started as a teenager, and continue on-and-off.

Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between a dream and a memory. Does this happen to you? Or am I confessing to something strange and pathological? Where is the line between pathology and creativity?

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Notable San Francisco: 12/28–1/3

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Wednesday 12/28: Back in the day, when Isaac Fitzgerald used to host the monthly Rumpus variety show at The Make-Out Room, comedian Nato Green was a frequent and popular guest. Tonight, he’ll be headlining at The Punch Line. That’s a good bet for a good time.

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Notable San Francisco: 12/21–12/27

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It is year’s end and a time for holidays.

Some folks will leave town, some will stay home and drink egg nog while others abstain, some will exchange gifts, some will get happy, some will get depressed. But few will schedule or attend literary events in the SF Bay Area, and we have little to list until after 12/25 has passed, and then, but one event.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #12: What Is Safety?

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Oh better far to live and die
Under the brave black flag I fly
Then play a sanctimonious part
With a pirate head and a pirate heart!!

The Pirates of Penzance

At fifteen years old, I was a runaway. It was perhaps 9:30 at night, my first night out, having hitchhiked a couple of hundred miles north towards Tallahassee, when they rushed me to the emergency room from the teen center where I’d gone to look for a crash pad.

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Notable San Francisco: 12/14–12/20

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Wednesday 12/14: McSweeney’s presents Emily Carr (Whosoever Has Let a Minotaur Enter Them, or a Sonnet). Free, 7 p.m., Alley Cat Books.

Michael Chabon reads from his new book, Moonglow. Free, 7 p.m., Diesel, A Bookstore.

Thursday 12/15: Poet and “political researcher” Peter Dale Scott reads.

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Notable San Francisco: 12/7–12/13

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Notable San Francisco grieves for the tragic loss of life in Oakland with the burning of Ghost Ship. Making art is a dangerous pastime, but it shouldn’t be life threatening because artists are forced by city gentrification to live on the urban fringe.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #11: Politics, Madness, and Sanity

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My family was always political, but I have a love/hate relationship with politics.

Today, I can feel the country swinging towards madness. And make no mistake, a country can go mad. It is familiar territory, exciting and threatening, seductive and fearful.

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Notable San Francisco: 11/30–12/6

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Wednesday 11/30: City Lights celebrates the publication of the magazine, Freeman’s: 2: Family: The Best New Writing on Family, from Grove Press. Editor John Freeman will be on hand. Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.

Thursday 12/1: Novelist (Exiles) and short story writer Cary Groner reads for Story Hour at the Morrison Library at UC Berkeley.

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