RE: “I Smelled Portland’s (Maybe) Corpse Flower” [Blogtown, May 30]. “The Mercury received a tip on a potential corpse flower blooming in a Northeast Portland neighborhood—because of course we did,” wrote Arts Editor Suzette Smith, who noted that while “some botanical facts” made the plant unlikely to be an actual corpse flower, the lure of it possibly being one—and thus having the odor of a decaying body—was too great to resist. “I’ve always wanted to smell a corpse flower and since I get a paycheck for looking into this kind of stuff, I decided to investigate!” Smith wrote. She later reported that the flower “sort of smelled like shit.”

Photo by J

Back in 2004, I returned home from work to find my roommates freaking out about the smell of death emanating from our back yard. The source turned out to be a voodoo lily. It’s not a corpse flower, but the smell has to be close. Maybe this thing still blooms in Southeast Portland. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll give you the address. We no longer live there, so you’re on your own getting access.


SUZETTE SMITH RESPONDS! Thanks J! That flower looks way more like the flower I smelled. It’s too bad that you don’t live in that house anymore, because we’re planning our editorial retreat and that pool looks great.


RE: The Portland Mercury. Just, you know, in general.

As I pick up your latest issue for a peruse, I find myself wondering why you’re trying to tell me how to live my life as a Portlander? Isn’t living life in your own way what made Portland so interesting in the past? If you all know so much about how to be the perfect citizen of a perfect place (that already has nothing but stolen shit culture and is 20 years behind any other city) and how they should act, why don’t you run for mayor of Portland?

The articles in your publication are full of “don’t do this.” and “don’t do that.” Who the fuck are you to tell anyone how to live!? I think you guys are part of the reason that so many idiots live in this city now. Portland is full of wannabe hyper-aware, hyper-cultured whiners.

The Mercury should write stories about things that actually build culture and don’t restrict what you think culture is, because we actually don’t have one. Your newspaper is a constant regurgitation of crap that nobody cares about and isn’t creating any provocative conversation. Portland at its current state is a muddied-down version of every great city that ever existed. The real Portland left 10-15 years ago, so deal with it and write something of depth and value that can regain what you think you’re protecting. Fuck your lame articles in the face.


MONTE! We were going to give you the Mercury’s letter of the week—along with two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater—but since encouraging you to use them would expose what we think culture is, not to mention tell you how to live your life, we’ll keep them for ourselves. Still, thanks for picking up the Mercury for a peruse!