by Mike James
Poet and actor S.A. Griffin has just journeyed across America in a gas-sucking Ford Econoline van with his sidekick Elsie. At libraries, coffee shops and bookstores from California to North Carolina, S.A. would wheel Elsie out of the van and sit her in a corner. People were immediately drawn to her beauty, yet they probably felt an underlying apprehension knowing her tumultuous past. Within her they knew was where her redeeming soul resides.
She was not human; she was once a dull gray Cold-War Era military practice bomb, lovingly refurbished into shiny brightly colored receptacle of words. Transformed, she was given a name Elsie after S.A.’s late grandmother, a name that symbolized redemption and unconditional love. She was the Poetry Bomb.
For the past few decades, S.A. Griffin has been a sharing his view of the world through his Beat-infused poetry. A constant on the L.A. Poetry scene he has also selflessly promoted other poets as well.
The basis of his latest project, Couch Surfing Across America Tour of Words, featuring Elsie, The Poetry Bomb, was a means to share his passion of the written word with the rest of the country.
The idea lay dormant for a while until the chance find of the bomb itself on Craigslist. After much planning and preparation, S.A. and Elsie hit the road. Through the initial publicity, she was already partially filled with poems submitted by people from throughout the country. At each stop attendees were invited to submit their poems to be added to the growing stack within Elsie.
After over 10,000 miles the trustworthy, non-economical Econoline* has safely brought S.A. and the poem-laden bomb, Elsie, back to Southern California.
On Monday, June 21th at 6:00pm (summer solstice) Ocean Beach will be the final stop of the tour for S.A. and the Poetry Bomb.
They will be guests of the Drunk Poet’s Society’s weekly soiree at Winston’s.
S.A. will share the symbolism of the Poetry Bomb as well as read random poems from the road. Audience members are also invited to bring their poems to be added to Elsie.**
RSVP’s are encouraged. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=127573440610052&ref=mf
*Donations to fuel the Econoline back to L.A. from Ocean Beach would be greatly appreciated.
** Poems should be on 8.5×11 piece of paper with name, city and state.
Mike James is one of the older brothers of Pat James, co-owner of James Gang Graphics. S.A.’s cousins, the O.B. James Gang brothers, share the same grandmother, Elsie, who loved Ocean Beach.