Foggy memories of olden days

Deborah Price Hughes - Meat Cleaver LadyRecently came across some old art and writings by a pseudonym whom Pawn had the Fortune to date many years ago, Deborah Price Hughes. (etc.). Her earlier history is partially documented in A SECRET HISTORY OF GOAL ZERO POETRY GROUP which includes these snippets:

There were only two female members who survived this atmosphere for any length of time. One was Yolanda Martinez and the other was Deborah Price Hughes

Yolanda could party with the best of them, wrote well, but still came and went periodically; an atmosphere in which we tried to out-drink and out-yell each other on a weekly basis and once in awhile read a new poem seemed to be too much for any woman. The open admiration for guns, knives and tales of warfare among various core members probably didn’t help. Deborah Price Hughes Etc.(she was always amending her name) lasted for an even shorter length of time, leaving after the Second Anniversary reading and not returning until the Fifth Anniversary event.

The noise scared off a portion of the then-gathering audience, as I recall. It was about that time when Mike Rosolek wrestled Deborah Price Etc. to the floor in a vain attempt to drink wine from one of her shoes. Such was the atmosphere that a woman had to tolerate to be part of Goal Zero.

The most notable aspect of the whole event is that it began with the onset of the city’s longest heat wave on 8/1/88. Temperatures hit over 100 that first day, recorded out at 106 at some point, and never fell below 95 in seven days and nights. The whir of fans, multiplying as the days went by, competed with the insufferable dun of over-recorded tape loops.

We sat around pouring sweat, read books desultorily, once in awhile someone said something. We drank large quantities of beer, changed tapes and kept the increasingly abusive audience at bay with stolen yellow “construction area-keep out” tape. The heat wave broke finally, just a little, with a tremendous electrical storm that Friday afternoon, just when Deborah Price Etc., who’d come back for the event and found us just as disgusting as ever, launched into an incredible and all-too-true denunciation. She recounted all the events of the disasterous Second Anniversary reading and inspired the present audience to revolt, all in righteous payback for being toppled and having her shoe wrestled off lo those three years previous. As she said, “When the knives come out, I leave.”

It was a tremendous performance and the one tape cassette out of 39 that played back clearly, complete with the hoots and hollers from the audience. But although John made three copies of each tape, nobody can locate that particular tape to this day, all existing copies having disappeared in some mysterious God-like way. Nonetheless, it was danged cathartic.

Pawn met Deb a year after these cataclysmic events, when she was perfecting her color copier art (as evinced in “Meat Cleaver Lady,” above).  Deborah inspired “The Dream of the Mirror” elsewhere in this blog.

Drug addicts and greater sensibilities soon intervened, but those were halcyon days, or at least salad. Expectations seldom live up to memories, now do they.

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