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Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Richard Shelton

I had a poetry reading to go to this evening at 8:00 so I had three hours kill after work. I just hate going home and then coming back since I have to ride my bike back and would rather spend the time relaxing. I had a hamburger and then spent the rest of the time in the U library reading and using one of the computers. These are nice and they have decent chairs to sit in. The old computer area had stools that you had to perch on and they were uncomfortable to use for very long.

I now have the student union which is a relaxed place to be and not too busy in the evening and the library where I can read and play on the computer, both places that I feel comfortable. I though I might be the oldest person there but there were a few others, either older students or teacher, I guess. It's nice to have someplace to spend time between work and activities where I don't have to spend a lot of money on food in order to not feel quilty about just sitting there reading.

The poet at the reading was Richard Shelton who has won several awards, has worked at the University of Arizona for long time and has writer worshops at the state prison. He was so good. He read quite a few poems, most of them from an activist context. He read one very sad poem written by one of the inmates he worked with in the prison. It's written from the mother's point of view who loves her son and prays for him and lights a candle and hopes he never comes back home again. We also laughed at his readings from his non-fiction, biographical books. Very funny. I enjoyed myself very much.

I also finished reading "Angels & Aliens" by Mary Morris. Mary writes about the year she spent in Los Angeles, Orange County to be exact, when her daughter was just a baby. She had hoped to come out with the child's father but he changed his mind and she went alone since she had a job there. The book is about so many of the wacko self help groups that she tried in an effort to get over the depression from no money, a baby and her boyfriend not wanting to make a commitment.

It's a well written book and I kept reading it but was irritated quite a few times, especially when she's whining about being broke but spending $35.00 per hour for a massage and having a live in maid and babysitter. Somehow I just couldn't relate. Still it was interesting to read her take on everything from the "light" group who were going to be taken to another planet to the Crystal Cathedral where she watched the angels fly and flew herself over the sanctuary.


Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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