Thursday the 7th:

I forgot to mention on the Thursday entry that, when I got to the bakery in Lewiston, I didn’t set up my sound system because a friend had already set his own. It wasn’t till show time that I saw it. It looked like two cans on strings, and I sounded like kazoo music through a toilet paper tube. By the end of all the reading and singing, my pharyngeal reflux had turned my throat into haggis.

Friday the 8th:

Rick Ardinger, my Limberlost publisher, and I drove from Lewiston down to Rick’s place outside of Boise. The rivers and streams were all high, so the kayakers were as thick as ducks in a shooting gallery, especially on the Salmon and Payette. I tried not to eat anything or talk much so I might regenerate some throat lining for the show that evening. Several times on the trip when we pulled over for gas and peeing, guys with small chins and dental incongruities would come over and start talking to us, most likely because they were enamored with our Trash Fish caps. One even yodeled, “Yew got any more of them?” and was truly crestfallen when we didn’t.

Somehow, I regenerated some voice for the reading/performance that night at Boise’s Log Cabin Lit Center. Since it was Rick’s and his wife, Rose’s, home turf, a good audience showed. Some guy had set up an amp and speakers but had forgotten the mikes and stands, so I used my own. I guess the guy figured that, since I was doing this tour pro bono, I could use my ass as a mike and my dick as a stand.

After I sang “Wild Trout,” a guy came up and told me that one of his jobs involved poisoning brook trout and he really wanted the song.

Saturday the 9th:

We drove to SLC where I performed at Ken Sanders’s Books that evening. We stayed with Gino Sky, who wrote Appaloosa Rising. I’m glad we had Gino and his friend for an audience because only four other people showed up–besides Ken and his assistant. I put on a show for the eight of them, and a couple even bought some books afterwards. One really Mormony looking guy came up when I’d finished singing a song that ended with:

Whether a synagog, a mosque, or a steeple,
There’s always gonna be a bunch of creeps ‘ll
Tell you they’re the chosen people.
I wanna be left behind…

and said, “I hope you don’t feel that way about all Christians.” I said, “For heaven’s sake no. Only those who happen to possess an ass hole.” I think he was going to buy a book, but then he didn’t.

Sunday the 10th

We stayed in SLC, since I didn’t perform in Pocatello till Monday evening. We walked into the Temple and two Russian girls who just might have been converted hard-currency prostitutes approached us and started telling us all about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, so we got the hell out of there.

Monday the 11th

That evening in Pocatello, there’d been a good article in the Sunday paper, so a bunch of friends showed up at the coffee house where I played, and my voice held together pretty well, in spite of all the vodka it had taken us to get into and out of SLC. I sang a song called “Idaho Potatoes” with these lines and the audience seemed to know what I was talking about:

From Mack’s Inn to St. Anthony, I’ve flyfished with the guys
Chasin’ tail in Island Park and chasin’ salmon flies.
I even fished that tub they call a lake down near Malad.
The rainbows taste like snake but with Tabasco they ain’t bad.

Later, we stayed with Ray Obermayr and his partner Maggie in Pocatello. Ray’s in his eighties and was Ed Dorn’s mentor–introduced him to the Black Mountain school of art and poetry and helped him move to Idaho in the early 60s. Ray outlived Ed and will most likely outlive me. He’s an amazing painter who also publishes poetry through Rick’s Limberlost press.

Tuesday the 12th:

I drove home to Bozeman for some serious detox.


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