-There is a place of business just outside Jackson, TN, called "The Furtle Turtle." If it is not a strip joint, it should be.
-Enjoyed turnip greens with bacon at Ajax Diner, on the Square, complete with pot likker for the black-eyed peas. I may dare to go back and try the smoked catfish salad, though I fear it won't be much once you take off all the fixings I am allergic to. City Grocery was as good as promised; once again they used real artichokes as an ingredient, not the jarred kind, which I had only otherwise experienced in New Orleans. I'm still waiting to get down to Snackbar or Irie to give the oysters a try.
-The people? Beyond nice. When I rang up my first round of Grisham-House groceries, I didn't think to ask for a Kroger frequent member discount. (There aren't many Krogers in DC.) The woman in line behind me insisted I use her card to go over to the manager and get my $9 refund. Her husband offered to carry bags to the car for me.
-You don't need to do nearly as much email jockeying and coffee-scheduling when everyone goes to the same three or four places. You just bump into people organically. If you don't bump into them, then they wouldn't have had time to visit anyway. I like it.
-A rail scotch and soda at City Grocery is $4, with a buck left over for tipping. With this heat, getting a better scotch neat is foolhardy--this is sipping weather. So it's the neatest tab-keeping I've had in a long time. Damn you, DC, and your $7 beers and $10.95 martinis!
-The Oxford Rhythm Revival was incredible. I got a taste of local roots rock (Rocket 88), cigar-box guitar (Johnny Lowebowe, equal parts theater and pluck), and rising-star power courtesy of Valerie June, who has an amazing voice (clip below). I wish YouTube had recordings of "If You Love & Let Go," "Keep the Bar Open," or "Shacklebound"--those are favorites, from a recording with Old Crow Medicine Show.
There are rumors that I Was the Jukebox will be reviewed in The Rumpus this Friday. Fingers crossed. I've been lucky as of late, with generous attention in the Feminist Review, Bookslut, and New Pages. I also got a random shout-out in this interview with poet Jason Koo, who I met when we read together at Washington College, outside Pittsburgh. Jason is the author of Man on Extremely Small Island (seen right), which came out from C&R Press in late 2009. Great guy and funny as hell.
By the way, this is easily the best random cameo-by-a-contemporary-poet in mainstream media that I have seen all week, from a Washington Post article titled "For the bacon-obsessed, a camp in Michigan has the cure":
"University of Michigan professor Tung-Hui Hu began by reciting his own poem entitled 'Curing Images and Pork.'..."