On The House… by Larry Crist


       On the house

En route to the reading
I heard, then watched a woodpecker
It had a bright red head and striped wings
and tapped for me
I saw a pair of flower beds
big brass bed frames fencing in a garden
leaving no doubt as to the pun intended
I saw a pretty girl raking leaves, who said, HI.
A jogger girl, who nearly ran me over
An ambulance blaring its siren

going up Madison on the wrong side of the road

I entered the reading
Took an armchair beside Luke
exchanged Hi’s with the old grizzled cuss
Eric Miller reintroduced himself to me
What a sweet kid
had i been as cool as that when i was 19. . .
A woman i hadn’t seen before poured coffee
as i got some water
Gave Mac a whack on the shoulder

Tom took stage, things began. . .

Charlie was reading Hemingway
when Luke went for the bathroom
Robert Jordan this, Robert Jordan that. . .
There was a racket in the head
I thought Luke was making some statement
in regards to Charlie’s reading
Luke came out flailing his arms
Bad mime from where i sat
Robert Jordan, Robert Jordan. . .
Luke went in, came out, went in
made another gesture
all of which Tom missed
Robert Jordan was receiving rifle instruction
as Luke huffed past where i was sitting
grabbed his coat and bag
grumbled someone was shooting up in the bathroom
and left
Was he pissed about illicit drug use?
being left out?
that he couldn’t get into the stall?

Or was it something Robert Jordan had done?

After Luke left
the strange woman came out
I could see the junk all over her

as she shuffled over to the couch and sat

Others read or played their guitars
I read my 4 or 5
the heroin-high woman read
her first time there, she said
Packed with cliche
and Johns
John John John John John. . .
10 cliches and 22 Johns later

she bid us a weak heroin farewell

Tom played a computer cartoon he had made
Eric Miller sang and played guitar
and things soon concluded

another reading come & gone

giving voice to the voiceless
words to and from the illiterate
a stage for us without a platform

space when there’s no where else

we come here
and why the hell not
every Monday night

we come here


Larry Crist is a writer and performer whose wit is sharper than his pen. He has read poetry in many famous Seattle venues such as Bai Pai, Breadline, Red Sky, Poets West, Homeland, Couth Buzzard Books, Bookworm Exchange, Richard Hugo House, and Red Pen’s Uptown Poetry Showcase.

Larry has been published in Hawaii Review, J. Journal, Alimentum, Rattle, Floating Bridge Press, Real Change, Pearl, Karamu, Red Rock Review, Slipstream, Nerve Cowboy, Dos Passo Review, Phantasmagoria, Permafrost, Stringtown, Rainbow Curve, Pontoon and many other publications. Larry has also written and narrated a pair of short films by Salise Hughes for the Northwest Film Forum and has also worked as an actor and is a long time active member of Effective Arts.

Copyright © 2012 by Larry Crist


4 thoughts on “On The House… by Larry Crist

  1. Thanks for sharing this. We ran the place for 6 years and miss it so. All the wild and crazy events that happened at that place. Miss all the faces that entered it as well. Teared up a little : )

    • My favorite event was Solomon’s Porch. I had never seen anything like that before. Good music. Heartfelt singing. Coupled with creative videography. They did a lot of love and work into one of those shows.


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