|I have never asked an intern to get me coffee with even one of her eight arms.|
Sanam read the most thoughtful introduction I’ve ever gotten, like a tiny dissertation that made me blush. She and the other board members all wore dresses and heels. They all had curly hair tied back. They were all—and I feel like this is relevant—the hardworking children of immigrants, and wanted to write about cultural hybridity and feminism and art, but also to do right by their families.
One of their professors, Martin Pousson, brought out what Jamie described as a diaper bag for grownups. Inside were crystal glasses and fancy libations whose names I’m too uncultured to remember. I only had one drink, but, well, it was the most…relaxed reading I’ve ever given. Martin was intensely fabulous, with a stand-up pompadour and an amazing necklace. He was the professor who was game to go to Chili’s with his students and talk about his thoughts on the most recent round of MacArthur grants over novelty margaritas.
|This is a thing you can order at Chili's.|
One of the many good questions the Creative Writing Circle students asked us was what inspired us to keep writing in the face of writer’s block. I gave a not entirely creative answer about writing routines. But an equally true—if trite—answer would have been them. I wanted to live the week ahead asking myself, What would a CSUN student do? College students have an effect matched only by caffeine, strong liquor and a handful of my favorite writers. And unlike strong liquor, you don’t have to quit engaging with them a good hour before driving home.
If you’d like to meet Martin Pousson, and get inspired yourself, join me Sunday at the West Hollywood Book Fair, where I’ll be moderating the 2:15 panel on Fiction and Identity at the LGBT Lounge. Also featuring Eduardo Santiago and Abigail Tarttelin!