dressing for a heatwave is a particularly difficult task during festival season, when all the city’s poets & poetesses gather in chicly sweltering spaces to peacock about with sweating pilsners in their palms & empty heartbellies begging to be filled with liquor and poetry.

the event kicked off as amy jenkins, wearing a glimmering onyx rainbow, led the crowd through a merrily bright meditation & established that auracolor was the order of the day. so much positivity at a poetry reading banished the temperature blues, temporarily.

as the afternoon progressed, increasingly scantily-clad men sold books and distributed popsickles + drinks while the madam of the poetry brothel (in a teensy aquamarine treat) enticed onlookers into her hut full of whores. I slipped inside just once, to trade a love poem for a camel, & came out to cancer among the metalwork debris in the great outdoors.

the apex of afternoon showed the glimmering literati draped across the ladder of an indoor treehouse, the crumbling bricks of a fire-pit, languishing in folding-chairs to the tune of non-stop microphone love.

mlle. klaver brought old-south sweetness to summer in a cherry-red frock emblazoned with two very cheeky birds & a giant fan to lighten the hearts of her many admirers. standing beneath the delightfully impractical wooden fire-escape, she read adorably smoldering verse with so many tiny bones it was vaguely avian while niina polari, who organized the event, frolicked about the space in cute cutoffs, beige halter, & super-chic buzz cut, roundly trouncing other attempts at sartorial androgyny.

the sun let up but the heat did not. when the stars came out to play, an audience made of the drippingly loyal fought a sugarcrash with more sugar

dottie lasky appeared late in the evening, bewitchingly witchy in a neon orange ensemble accessorized with the must-have sparkly black toms, wooden beads, & turquoise eyes. simply bright sprinkled sticky-sweet accentuated with the bare contrast of something like “honesty” speaks to ms. L’s outfit & reading, which is the mark of a truly craft-conscious poetista.

(in this photo, she’s wearing this B*tCh3’z rhinestone-studded bow, which we later attempted to trade for a poem in the back alley of a warehouse)

paul legault stood in the crook of the piano like a boy soprano in short pants and ankle socks, all cuddly charm, reading telephone translations.

ariana reines ended the evening, pairing bold bangles + her signature owl-glasses with a taupe sheath reminiscent of carrie bradshaw’s infamous “naked dress.” neutral nudes highlighted inner-dark shimmer like the sun on an oilslick on fire island the day lady died, or how all broken bodies are aware of their angles. this is what makes models about to collapse especially good for being photographed. see, you can’t just speak to the dead, you have to say something, or frame photographs of their last best dress. then any channel is every channel infected, & it is colorful static, & it is an aura, how blinding.

it’s anything but a surprise.

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