I am deeply envious of Mark, one of my most brilliant, witty, and charming writer pals. He lives in a beautiful home (the kind that makes me worry I’ll never be a “real” grown-up) where he occasionally hosts gatherings for his terribly fortunate friends. Mark’s partner, Darryl, is always creating the most delectable spreads of food and drink–inventive sushi, handmade pizzas with creative toppings, adorable mini burgers, and different seasonal libations. Everything is homemade and delicious. I figured Mark must be using devious methods to bend Darryl to his culinary will, but apparently threats and scare tactics aren’t necessary…Darryl just really enjoys whippin’ it up in the kitchen.

Yesterday was the first ridiculously hot day in Los Angeles (with many more to follow, no doubt). Mark and Darryl went for a hike through the hills and when they returned home, both of them were jonesin’ for a refresher–something cool and delicious that would provide them with that delightful Sunday Afternoon Buzz (don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about).

Being the pro that he is, Darryl headed into the kitchen and created this delightful concoction with just four ingredients–all the fruit was fresh, naturally. These measurements will get you a pitcher’s worth…trust me, you won’t want anything less.

Mark & Darryl’s Sunday Afternoon Pineapple Margaritas

1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice (Peel, core and cut the pineapple into large chunks. Wrap the chunks in cheesecloth and squeeze to extract the juice. If you use a juicer or blender, the juice will be pulpy and won’t work)

1 cup fresh lime juice

1 cup (or more…) quality agave tequila

2-3 tablespoons honey or organic agave nectar to taste

Pour over ice and enjoy responsibly…or not.

carmen-miranda2

Rhapsodomancy at the Good Luck Bar

Rhapsodomancy is a fabulous LA reading series that takes place every other month at the Good Luck Bar in East Hollywood. It was co-founded by the incomparable, Mama Bear a.k.a. Antioch University MFA program coordinator, Wendy Ortiz (a beautiful writer, herself). Each reading features a lineup of four readers—poets, fiction writers, and memoirists, respectively.

I was a fan of Rhapsodomancy even before beginning my stint as a grad student at Antioch, and now I look forward to every other month’s reading as an opportunity to meet up with old friends, chat with writerly folks, and steal gather inspiration from the brilliant scribes showcasing their work.

Tonight’s lineup promises to be a stunner–four distint poets with the skills to pay the bills…which is saying a lot…poetry isn’t always the most lucrative endeavor.

Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before receiving his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. He also holds an M.F.A. from the University of New Orleans and a B.A. from Dillard University, and he has served as poetry editor at Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, The Iowa Review, jubilat, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. The recipient of a Cave Canem Fellowship, two scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and two travel fellowships to the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, Brown is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of San Diego where he teaches creative writing. Western Michigan University’s New Issues Poetry & Prose published his first book, Please. www.jerichobrown.com

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press), a novel-in-poems chronicling the life of an immigrant girl haunted by the death of her best friend. Daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Kundiman Fellow, Ching-In has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston. Her work has been recently published in Tea Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Water~Stone Review. www.chinginchen.com

Sina Grace is the author of the comic book series Books with Pictures and The Roller-Derby Robo-Dykes versus The Cannibals. His work has appeared in several prose and graphic novel anthologies. He illustrated More Adventurous, the Rilo Kiley comic to the eponymous album; and also illustrated inserts and promotional material for Common Rotation, Finest Dearest, and others. Cedric Hollows in Dial ‘M’ for Magic is his first novel. He lives in Southern California.

Edan Lepucki has published fiction in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, CutBank, Meridian, Avery, Narrative Magazine, and the Los Angeles Review. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a regular contributor to The Millions book blog. She is the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles, private writing school for the brave, enthusiastic and talented. She’s currently at work on a novel.

I know this is late notice, but if you’re in the ‘hood and feel like having a cocktail (or two) and hearing some terrific poetry, ch-ch-check it out. Or stay tuned til next time.

Doors open at 7:00 – Reading begins at 7:30pm
The Good Luck Bar, 1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 90027 (east Hollywood/Silver Lake: corner of Hollywood & Hillhurst)
21 and over only.
RSVP at rhapsodomancyla@yahoo.com (RSVP not required, but appreciated)
$3 suggested donation at door.
There will be a cash bar.
www.rhapsodomancy.org