Dangerous Compassions

dancing in the streets

“You wanna hear this book with me?” I asked Ming.  I’m reading a book Dancing in the Streets with my friend up in Canada.

Dancing in the Streets

She’s reading it for a class, and knows the subject matter interests me.  It was sweet, she invited me to be her book buddy!

The book is about group ecstatic states–Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich.  She wrote Nickled and Dimed, about everyday US poverty, which I never read, but I read a bunch of poems that used lines from that book.

“I don’t know–is it good?” Ming asked.

“I don’t know–I haven’t read it yet!”  I borrowed it from the library, then found an audiobook version, from hoopla, also through the library.

“Does it have subtitles?” he asked.

I look at him like he was silly.  “Uh….yeah.  The subtitles are called a book.”  We laughed.


It’s pretty good.  I got annoyed with the intro.  It was way too listy, a ton of examples of white people showing up somewhere, seeing brown people do group ecstatic states, and thinking it was grotesque and horrible.  Really I did not need 40 examples of that–I got it by example two.

And the actor-reader, I don’t enjoy her style at all.  She has a weird attitude, and I can’t relate.  The mood feels like she’s mildly pretend-scandalized by everything.   That seems like the only mood.

But audiobook is a way to get the ideas in my head, without eye strain, and I like multitasking.  So it’s good.  I’m on track to finish the first part, by the first meeting with my book buddy.  I feel kinda proud of that.

Only Connect

My friend who runs Teeny Tiny Press is teaching an online writing class, and it starts mid-May.  Please consider joining for great prompts and brilliant facilitation.  She’s a long-time poet and teacher.

We met around 14 years ago through zines, and we met in person also.  Ming and I stayed with her actually, in Seattle, around eight years ago.  We enjoyed eating cupcakes, visiting a park, climbing a ton of stairs to get a view from a tower.


Pretty roses, huh?  Look how young we were.

And we ate delicious Indian food, talked, and looked at plants in her yard.  I remember the table, the kitchen, and the room where Ming and I slept, with ebay toys in it.  That was one of my favorite parts of that epic roadtrip.  Oh yeah, and we visited that underbridge troll sculpture.

A little structure can help, if you want to write more.  Some support of a group.  So yeah, please consider.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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