From P-Town… Toutonghi’s Tuesday Evel Knievel Evening

1. Toutonghi’s reading took place around 7:30pm at Powell’s Burnside location. 2. Toutonghi and the rest of us were very appreciative of the free Rainier beer.

Pauls Toutonghi read from his new book, Evel Knievel Days, up the street at Powell’s before heading over to the Graeter Art Gallery and Wine Bar in Old Town.

When I arrived an hour into things, the sidewalk in front of the place was packed. Lance Cleland, Associate Directos of the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, was sitting next to the door, looking a little exhausted from last week. I meant to run in for a beer and come back out for a pic, but the crowd shifted as the No Tomorrow Boys started playing.

1. The No Tomorrow Boys get ready to play in the back of the gallery space. I consider neck tattoos the band equivalent of a tie, so this gentleman is dressed to the nines. 2. The band’s lead singer made my beer taste even better. 3. Fariha Tayyab, B. Frayn Masters, and Kevin Sampsell came in from the crowd for a quick pic.

To be completely honest, I wanted to take a closer look at the motorcycles, which made me a feel little nostalgic for spiderweb-filled helmets at my grandma’s, where we used to ride the trails after my dad tested which bikes were running that day. The Building Speed exhibit features motorcycle-racing inspired artwork by Dan Ness, Corey Smith, Anthony-Michel Mautemps, David DeLong and Randell Swann, as well as the sweet bikes from the ’50s and ’60s. I need to go back for a closer look.

1. Balloons & Motorcycles at the Graeter Art Gallery. 2. Peter Rock, with the lovely Fontanarosa.

The band brought a few of their friends, who looked a little different than the rest of us, but I bet some of them write occasionally. Punk songs usually end too fast for me, but the No Tomorrow Boys made every second count. The lead singer almost took off his leather jacket because it was a pretty humid night and the place started to heat up when they played; however, he didn’t think the crowd did anything special to deserve witnessing a band first, like him taking off his jacket, so he kept it on to protest our lack of specialness. Fine with me. I had a cold beer.

1. I held the camera above my head for this shot of the very tall Arthur Bradford, with Toutonghi. 2. Matthew Korfhage, Sean Imeson, and Josiah Jones are not aware of the fact that I saw them ride in on My Little Ponies.

After the band put down their weapons and headed towards the bar, I asked Rock how long it took him to finish Arthur Bradford’s kid-book, Benny’s Brigade. Rock said he did it in 7–8 minutes with kids, but Arthur was confident he could do a punk version that would come in under one minute and thirty seconds.

1. Wear a Dirty Dancing shirt and get noticed. Patrick is teaching that lesson to the masses. 2. Andrew Proctor, the Executive Director of Literary Arts, with Carl Adamshick, the 2012 Oregon Book Award winner for Poetry, are both extremely tall. 3. Winners! Olivia, intern at Literary Arts, and Jessica Kakritz, local poet, with prizes.

Peyton Marshall, Toutonghi’s other half, whisked by the swag table as I was getting a picture of the night’s raffle winners. There were so many people I didn’t get to talk to at this conversational party. Next to the stack of his books for sale and signing, there were free recipe tins containing a recipe for Baklava, a Zinelette on Ammit weighing hearts, and red/white/blue confetti. I felt special for grabbing one.

1. James Bernard Frost and Eric Bader are exactly the type of people you want to run into at a party like this.

Toutonghi needs to finish another book fast. I want to go to another party where I’m surrounded by amazing lit people and motorcycles with free beer and soup while listening to a punk band and then have the option of going to a secret Stephen Malkmus show across the river.


— Judith Ossello currently lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. Find her at

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