Photo by Bob Renno


RE: "A Haiku of Sorts" [Letters, April 17], a piece of poetry submitted by a reader in celebration of those trees that smell like semen. You know the ones.

DEAR MERCURY—I have a lilac tree that, just past ripening, I swear smells like pussy. I love that tree and would spend many a time taking in its olfactory fragrance. I mentioned this to a girlfriend and she said that it's probably the panty shield that smells like lilac. That absolutely, 100 percent killed it for me. The mystique is blown, the dream is gone, and now all I can think of is panty shields.

Kurt Goetzinger



RE: "The Hitching Post" [Feature, April 24], in which author Alex Falcone recounts true tales from his wedding-planning experience.

ALEX FALCONE—Maybe to you a wedding is "just a catered party our parents are paying for," but to me a wedding is about committing to your partner for the rest of your life. I guess that's the difference between you and me. Oh, and we're saving money to pay for it ourselves because we are not coddled little douchebags. So, I guess that's two differences between you and me.

Mandy Melodini

All this crap you are writing about strikes me as obscene and unromantic. At least you are not making people trek to Hawaii, though. That is the complete worst: making people spend their vacation time to bask in the glory of your love.

posted by frankieb

When I got engaged, we printed out a list of things that people usually do for weddings, and crossed off everything that sounded tacky. I avoided Pinterest like the plague, bought a dress on consignment, and my fiancée managed to find Ninja Turtles-themed cake toppers at a swap meet for a whopping $1 each.

posted by Raven Woods



RE: Cover [April 24], a photo by Bob Renno of an interracial couple playing with chocolate syrup. We worried that people might confuse it with feces, but it turns out the confusion is much deeper.

DEAR MERCURY—To be honest, a lot of black men marry white women in order to conquer "whitey" in their minds. That's my reaction when I look at the cover of your latest issue. The black guy is just relishing in conquering white flesh. They really have no reason for liking white women other than that. Otherwise, why don't white men marry black women? They don't, usually.

John Pratt



RE: "10-Year Itch" [Books, April 24], in which Arts Editor Alison Hallett critiques the Stumptown Comics Fest, now in its 10th year.

I am an organizer for the Portland Zine Symposium (PZS) who first started by volunteering at Stumptown Comics Fest (SCF) and then PZS eight years ago... Alison puts it very well, listing reasons I stopped volunteering for SCF and devoted myself to PZS, in a way that's always been a struggle for me to articulate. I feel I watched SCF tailspin from what I thought it was. I gave up on SCF and devoted myself to PZS because I saw that it was really working to serve independent press and community. I have a lot of hopes for Shawna Gore taking over as director, however, as she seems very selfless, very driven, and very ethical. As SCF becomes a nonprofit and is run by more accountable people, we may see it change. And, if it does not manage to weed out some of the profit-driven commercialism this year, maybe it will next year, when the organizational legs are more stable.

posted by Christina Blue Crow



Erika the haiku bandit returns, this time focusing on the recent days of warm weather, with proper poem structure to boot.

DEAR MERCURY—I won't be offended if you decline, but maybe the Mercury should publish poems—namely my haikus. This one is as it should be: 5-7-5 and inspired by weather or natural phenomena.

seventy degrees!

cloud city: i'm not ready

still cranky and crass


OKAY, BUT THIS is the last time. For her second-time charm in correctly composing a topical haiku, Erika gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where there is no haiku recitation allowed while the film is in progress.