We at the Mercury love love*, and my Valentine to you is this list of arts-related V-Day events. You're totally welcome. <3 <3 xoxo

UPDATED LOVE: This just in from the fabulous Cosmic Monkey Comics:

Subject: Presidential Valentine Anniversary Sale!

In honor of the 2nd anniversary of our store on Sandy Blvd, a pagan fertility festival co-opted into a heavily commercialized celebration of romantic love, and the birth of the 1st and 16th Presidents of the United States respectively, Cosmic Monkey Comics is having a SALE!

Come by on February 14th-16th from 11-7 for 25% off everything in the store (except this weeks comics and items on hold). That means back issues, graphic novels, manga, DVDs, toys, shirts, and yes, et cetera.

To sweeten the pot, we're also continuing our side room Warehouse Sale of over 10,000 comics are marked down to $1 each, and selected graphic novels, toys, shirts, toys, and gaming swag slashed to 50% off.

Remember, nothing says "I love you" or "I deeply appreciate the leadership and personal sacrifices of a revered and long-dead statesman" like comics. See you over the long weekend!

Cosmic Monkey, 5335 NE Sandy

ARTSY LOVE: The Portland Love Show began four years ago at Launchpad Gallery, as an inclusive, non-juried show that aimed to "highlight the complex nature of love." This year, with more than 250 participating artists (up from 77 the first year), it's moved to a larger venue; the opening night party promises music and dancing and fun. It's free, but they ask you to bring a can of food. And, if you're inclined, a breakup letter:

Participatory Art Project Needs Your Break-Up Letters!
Friday the 13th vs. Valentine’s Day!

It’s been 6 years since the auspicious coincidence of these two dates, 6 years since the first publication of Break-Up Letters - a zine devoted to those paragons of letter-writing, the Final Letter.

We invite you to bring your received, sent, or never-sent Break-Up Letter to the Love Show, this Friday the 13th at Olympic Mills. We’ll provide a copy of volume 1 of Break-Up Letters, plus a bar of chocolate for each submission. Send that letter you never sent! Re-purpose those terminary epistles into a new life, as Art!

Bring the actual paper copy of the break-up letters for submission. For those of you who don’t’ wish to part with your letter, a scanner will be on hand. You can also forward break-up emails or text messages (!) to deadletter@speakeasy.net.

I once broke up with someone over email, and now I'm going to get a chocolate bar out of it. Hardly seems fair, does it? Opening party tomorrow, Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 SE Washington, 7 pm-midnight, free, donations accepted.

LITERATE LOVE: Local poets read love poems at the North Portland Neighborhood Library.


Poetry in the Key of Life. Read by 'Candlelight'. Backed by music

The press release goes on to note that there will be no actual candles. That's all I have to say. I don't make fun of libraries. North Portland Neighborhood Library, 512 N Killingsworth, Sat Feb 14, 4-5:30 pm

BOBO LOVE: Portland Story Theater presents four showings of Smitten, a new "collection of intimate and revealing stories about... the failures and the redemptions that await us when love strikes like a bolt from the blue and we just have to deal with it."

Much like the film He's Just Not That Into You, the description of this show makes me want to back slowly away from love while avoiding any eye contact that could be perceived as provocative.

Love is fire, but whether it will warm your heart or burn your house down is sometimes hard to say. Just in time for Valentines Day, Portland Story Theater brings you Smitten! a brand new show about the kind of love that stuns you, lifts you, shakes you by the neck and takes you on a wild roller coaster ride of thrilling ascents, terrifying plunges, and just when you thought you knew where you were going breath-taking sharp curves.

But there's chocolate and wine, and Hipbone Studio (on East Burnside by the Jazzercise studio and the sad comic book store) is kind of a cool little space. Fri 8 pm, Sat 7 pm, 9 pm, Sun 3 pm, Hipbone Studio, 1847 E Burnside, #104, $12

NO LOVE: And in what is handily the weirdest and most appealing V-Day event, the Oregon Red Cross is hosting CPR Training for Singles.

Learn the skills to save a life, meet other local singles and enjoy beer, wine and heart-shaped cookies. This four-hour course will prepare you to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies in adults ages 13 and up using real-life scenarios. While you can't practice mouth-to-mouth on other attendees, this special class is a great way to meet new people while still meeting OSHA requirements.

The four-hour class is $37, and the Mercury is cosponsoring the event, so participants get a free two-week Lovelab membership. That's long enough to get laid like, 27 times find true love, for sure! Hit the website for details. (Randomly enough, Portland Red Cross is very active on Twitter—it's a good way to find out about blood drives and such: twitter.com/RedCrossPDX.)

Check out our Destination Heart for more ideas on classing up your Valentine's Day.

*no we don't.