For over a decade, the women of Sister Spit have been putting their mouths in front of the mic in amazing and shocking ways. As hard as it is to bring people together for literary and spoken word events the new crew, Sister Spit: The Next Generation, is still vibrantly and successfully touring the states even in these depressed times. Their Portland show last Sunday was a packed house, the bulk of us shuffling from foot to foot as we listened to the varied storytellers, poets, comic book artists and performers of all sorts.
Spearheaded by dyke sex and culture novelist Michelle Tea, the tour van is chock full of amazing ladies including youthful comic artist Ariel Schrag, comedienne and banana-for-hire Beth Liseck, old-school spitter Sara Seinberg, slam poet superhero Kirya Traber, trans-licious sex-workers art show vet Ben McCoy and queer pop novelist Rhiannon Argo.
The babbling ball of energy that is Michelle Tea certainly set the bawdy stage as she read from her forthcoming novel about a coked up relationship that was doomed to failure. Argo, too, had great lez-novel passages that remind us of both the kind of dykes we are, want to be, and want to avoid, even when they are all one and the same.
We were also treated laid back storytelling and a special sound effect enhanced comic book reading by Ariel Schrag that included refreshing background imagery. Films and artwork often interjected the night of writing, making sure all our senses were equally stimulated. Especially sexy were Argo’s snaps of San Francisco queers of all sorts imbibing and otherwise fondling orange popsicles in tribute to her novel, The Creamsickle.
But one of the best highlights was the surprising reading by Ben McCoy. Beginning with a teasing and rowdy dance entrance to Lady Gaga’s “Pokerface” McCoy abruptly stops and asks the audience, “Did you really think that’s what I was going to do?” In stark contrast, the transwoman instead sits down and tells an intensely personal narrative that is both genuine and heart-wrenching.
Upcoming Midwest and East Coast shows are most certainly not to be missed. A full schedule of remaining dates is below can be found on their website.