Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
I spent a delightful afternoon at the Davis Cemetery yesterday. Although I had never been on the grounds of the cemetery, it seemed oddly familiar to me, in part because of all the time I spent in cemeteries as a child. My best friend Tito, later known on his pilot’s license as Montague David Lord, lived across the street from The Holy Rood Cemetery in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington DC. Fascinated by ghosts, hauntings, and other spooky subjects, Tito and I spent many afternoons reviewing the names and the birth and death dates of the thousands of people buried there. Known when I was a child as the best-documented slave burial ground in the city, Holy Rood Cemetery has been in a state of disrepair for many years. Georgetown University, which owns the land, investigated the possibility of disinterring those buried there, but protests from relatives and people eventually hoping to be buried there with those relatives dissuaded the university from moving forward with that plan. This interest in Holy Rood among the living seems strange to me now, for during all our visits I don’t know that Tito and I ever saw a funeral take place at 2126 Wisconsin Avenue – I remember more graves of Civil War veterans than of soldiers who took place in our subsequent conflicts.
The Davis Cemetery District, by contrast, contains one of the best-maintained cemeteries I have ever encountered. Unlike almost everywhere else in Davis, it also has topography, by which I mean, it has a hill. To the east of the burial plots one finds a large expanse of lawns, mature trees, a huge number of recently planted trees, and some actual wildlife: my children counted two jack-rabbits and a dozen or so wild turkeys. It was a beautiful site for a poetry reading, and yesterday I got to perform with Amy X. Neuburg, the electronic musician and opera singer who impressed and surprised the older crowd of 50 or so art and music lovers who attended the event. I myself was surprised by the large number of my poems that included mention of graveyards and memorials. Perhaps without knowing it I return to the images and settings that were so important to Tito and me when we were first starting to understand history and mortality.
Tonight’s Pub Quiz will include some questions about dead people, so prepare yourself for that. Expect also questions about young and accomplished people, Scarlett Johansson, April 14th, bands that have appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, animation, undefeated people, China, opening doors, diamonds, former kings, dust, Iowa, eclipses, the Central Valley of California, dogs, spiders, Joe Biden, contiguous states, the US Senate, elderly protagonists, Americans with insufficient consonants, soybeans, the language of law, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Hungary, a man’s fist, the pronunciation of “Buscemi,” and Shakespeare.
The San Francisco Beat poet AD Winans comes to town this coming Friday night at 7 to read from his original work. Find out about Winans below, and about this weekend’s Jazz/Beat Festival at http://www.natsoulas.com/schedule/.
I hope to see you this evening for the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz!
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
7. Pop Culture – Music. The number one song in the nation this week, "One More Night," is performed by what LA-based pop rock band?
8. Sports. You may have heard that Miguel Cabrera has recently achieved the baseball triple-crown. One of the three categories is home-runs. What are the other two?
9. Science. The Hardy-Weinberg Principle most concerns which of the following disciplines? Astronomy, Chemistry, Genetics, Physics.
10. Great Americans. In what year did Steve Jobs die?
11. Unusual Words according to Urban Dictionary. What P word do we use to describe a photo that has been ruined by someone or something that was not supposed to be in the photograph?
P.S. More on AD Winans: A native of San Francisco, Allan Davis Winans is a poet, essayist, photographer, and short story writer whose work has appeared in over 2,000 literary magazines and anthologies, including City Lights Journal, Poetry Australia, The New York Quarterly, Beatitude, Beat Scene, and Rattle. In addition, he has written 50 books of poetry and two books of prose. Winans was close friends with Beat poets Charles Bukowski, Bob Kaufman, and Jack Micheline, having participated in the Beat and post-Beat era starting in 1958. From 1972 to 1989 Winans edited and published Second Coming Magazine, which produced a large number of books and anthologies, including the highly acclaimed California Bicentennial Poets Anthology. In 2006, he was awarded a PEN National Josephine Miles Award For Excellence in Literature, and, in 2009, PEN Oakland presented Winans with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, Bottle of Smoke Press published a 300-page collection of Winans’ selected poems, and in February 2012 Little Red Tree Press published Winans’ San Francisco Poems. To find out more about A. D. Winans, visit http://www.adwinans.mysite.com/.