Prose in the Afternoon at Holy Grounds
by Michael Sedano
A busy industrial thoroughfare is an unusal place for an enchanting coffee house but that’s not the only distinguishing feature of El Sereno’s Holy Grounds Coffee & Tea. The garden, a splashing fountain, a tiny performance stage, add to the oasis-flavored ambience for this week’s Hitched reading.
For many years, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo curated Hitched at Venice’s Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Already attracted by the name, I wanted to hear the stellar lineups Bermejo collects. I don’t do well at night, and avoid the westside like a plague. When Hitched! comes to the eastside on Sunday afternoons, I know I’ll finally take the opportunity to show up. I miss event after event, and only this week managed the short journey from northern Pasadena to eastern El Sereno.
Juanita Mantz starts the reading. She’s from my neck of the woods, the Inland Empire, with a sad story of a family’s disintegration. Mantz constructs a beautiful contrast having her character writing a report on Romeo and Juliet while her mother loads up the car and leaves their father to his drinking and absence.
Jo Scott-Coe pronounces the name his familiars call him, “Charlie.” The name rings with unnerving familiarity but totally out of joint. The man was a monster. Holed up in the tower at the University of Texas, he spent the last hours of his life picking off pedestrians on the campus quadrangle, Charles Whitman. Scott-Coe’s nonfiction captures conversations with Charlie’s survivors. The monster murdered his mother and wife before climbing to his height. Read Rest of Article Here