And then Sunday we Celebrated Mindy Nettifee’s new Book, Glitter in the Blood

I made the happy trek to LA on Sunday after work to meet up with Caitlin, and together we ventured several miles down south to Long Beach, where Mindy Nettifee was hosting her book release party at {open}. {open} (Am I doing that right?), for starters, is this amazing little book store nestled in between coffee and taco shops, a lovable little sanctuary that was perfect for a night of spoken word.

You guys, it was magical. Caitlin introduced me to Mindy over the summer, and I fell in love with her wit and tremendous relationship with words. If you haven’t read Rise of the Trust Fall, go do it now. Seriously. Stop reading and order it online. Mindy not only understands poetry, she understands life’s pretty spills and car crashes, its drunken hazes and its sober uplifting conversations with friends. “What’s she like?” I asked Caitlin in the car. “She’s so cute, but she’s hard. Like she’s experienced so much and gone through it all.” For Mindy to write a book on how to write poetry means the world to me; although you can never really be taught how to write, you can be lucky enough to have someone lead the way with a torch.

I haven’t read Glitter in the Blood yet; my copy is on its merry way, and according to my long begotten Yahoo inbox, it’s supposed to arrive tomorrow. I can hardly contain myself.

But this post is about celebrating Glitter in the Blood, it’s about pure giddiness for poetry, and  it’s about an event that happened on Sunday that was enchanting. Hosted by Adrian Wyatt, who read her poetry as well, Mindy’s book release party starred Jeremy Radin, Beau Sia, and Joshua Silverstein.

The luminous Adrian Wyatt

Jeremy Radin reading a poem about hunting bears

Beau Sia, mid-scream

Joshua Silverstein, doing I don’t know what but it was amazing

I mean, my camera didn’t capture Mindy’s cuteness that she has and throws back at you with vehement power. Her stage presence was so magnificent; Mindy doesn’t just contain multitudes, she radiates them.

She read one or two pieces of Rise of the Trust Fall, definitely “Ultra Violet,” where it begins with:

Amanda’s recurring dream as a child was about a witch and a bathtub
and how hard it is, really, to strangle someone with your own bare hands.
Never mind that the choked witch was her self, her own power.

Mindy structured her performance with a thesis, so to speak: There’s the beloved Wizard of Oz where Dorothy goes on these wonderful adventures, and when she gets back home to Kansas, she basically vows to never leave again. I’m saying that you should go on, be brave, and never fear the adventure. That’s not exactly what she said, but I’m summarizing it in a way that doesn’t do it justice if you weren’t there. Sorry. It all worked so brilliantly, since Mindy is originally a Midwesterner who moved to Long Beach, and then I think moved to Oregon, but I’m not totally sure about that. It doesn’t matter. The point is that there’s Dorothy, the Witch, and Oz and sometimes we are the witch and sometimes we are the Dorothy who embraces Oz and the unknown.  All of the time is the time that we be brave when we write, when we stumble around in the nebulous dark pages.

Mindy read a few poems from her chapbook, Too Drunk for Jewelry, including poems, “The Thing about Having Just Dropped Acid an Hour Ago When the Zombies Arrive at the House Party,” “Why I Turned out so Vanilla,” and “Get Out of Bed Goddamn It,” and some others off loose leaf printer paper.

After the show, I waited in line and once I finally made my way towards her, I said, “Mindy! So, you’re who I want to be when I grow up,” which was probably a stupid line, but I was totally breathless. She laughed and said, “Well, it’s not hard!” Which is a total lie.

I bought Too Drunk for Jewelry for Mindy to sign and she left me with:

Gina,
You’ve got this. Be radioactive. Scare the fuck out of everyone with your light. It’s dark out there.

I do. And I will. Thanks, Mindy.

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