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Poetry Mission

Poetry Mission started a couple years back as one brainchild (among many) of a small group of poetry dreamers who aimed to take poetry where it's never been before. Host Harvey jokingly claims she would make a good domanitrix, and her boisterous presence tends to make one agree. She "MCs, taunts, coaxes and teases" readers, many of whom she knows personally.

Closeted in Dalva's cozy back room, Poetry Mission enjoys a steady gang of regulars as well as several new voices at each reading. On the evening I visited, Karen Ladson attended as feature poet. What luscious expression. Daphne Gottleib showed up to provoke us with a poem of James Dean sex. As time flashed by in that intimate little back room, I felt as if I were Alice in Wonderland shrunk down to the size of a gnome. Don't get me wrong -- it was a good feeling being there, Shauna Rogan pouring her heart out until images of broken candy canes fluttered around the low ceiling.

Joe, the taxi driver with a mohawk, made me smile with his stripper monologue, and so did Harvey. Under her command, we obediently put our names in a pink fake-fur hat for a lucky draw. Yes sir, it's the only open mic in town with a door prize. You might win any variety of books or cassettes chosen at random from Harvey's home, where she's slowly but surely getting rid of her worldly possessions.

The night was rounded out with a last minute reader, who regulars enjoyed joking around with. "He looks like Bill Gates," someone exclaimed. It was great being unexpectedly entertained by a punchy tale of a Delaware teen named Data Trash who fashioned a pipe out of a big dildo, just so the jocks and rednecks wouldn't force him to smoke them out during a dry spell. Check it out, and you might become one of the regulars, too.

Poetry Mission
Second and fourth Thursdays, 7 pm - 9 pm, 21+, Free
Dalva, back room
3121 16th Street at Valencia, SF, 415.252.7740