It's the 90s -- so of course the girls had a laptop with them and were e-mailing from the stops, a cyber-cafe, or also snail mailing their reports from the road back to main camp at the pear transmedia office in S.F.

You can also check out the '98 logbook, the spit chicks put another one together for the summer tour and it's waiting for your Huuuuungry Eyes (Patrick Swayze for you.).

DAY 4 or 5, from topiary Hello and hope you are well. We are now on day 4 or is it 5? Driving all night through major heat and find ourselves in Tuscon.

After nice opening shows in Santa Cruz and LA, we really hit our stride in Las Vegas, out-performing ourselves to a rowdy and diverse Vegas crowd of locals, a mix of heckling straight men and appreciative dykes and many others in between. Our most excellent and talented host Dave had hooked us up w/ free rooms at the illustrious Stardust Casino and even got us a grant from the Nevada State Council on the Arts. The free "ass juice" the bar kept doling out definately heightened the energy. Heckling was raised to a new level. And believe it or not, we even did a second set!
I think it's safe to report that we all had a blast in Vegas especially after Ali treated some of us to her expert slot machine techniques.

It's fucking hot as hell here in Tucson and we're all a bit punchy now after driving all night from Vegas to Tucson. Am writing you from the cyber cafe next to the Hotel Congress.

Hit a traffic jam in the middle of the desert on the road from Vegas to here at about 3 am. We wondered about the alien abduction possibilities, but it turns out there was a murder.... probably by human hands, though. The landscape is surreal here.

Vegas was a kick. So great to get out of CA, the state of apathy. Vegas was in a straight bar w/ a strange mix of heckling straight men and appreciative dykes and some others. We were treated quite well, 2 free hotel rooms at the Stardust hotel. I lost $3 to the nickel slots. Its very hot in the van. We have to drive at night and sleep by day. Wish we had more time in Tucson, it seem so interesting, picturesque.

The tour is really starting to get rolling now. I can feel us as a show gelling, getting the hang of it, getting funnier and easier and less precious with each other. The traveling is harsh, though.

DAY 4 or 5, from marci We decided in Vegas that the tour had officially begun! We were performing to a crowd of raucous ass-juice-drinkin'-fools who had never heard our dried up and over-read shit before and they loved it! They bought up our merchandise and the Nevada Arts Council gave us a grant. As I listen to the silence and stealth of the desert heat in Tucson, I'm trying hard to remember the neon of Vegas. For if the tour didn't begin there, it has truly begun here. Our housing contact fell through, there are no flyers anywhere for the show, we have no microphones or PA system, and Richard Buckner is playing at the Hotel Congress and I can't go. Oh, praise Jesus! We are on tour!

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DAY 19, from topiary Howdy - sorry it's taken so long to send an e-update. I haven't had a local access number for my account since Tucson - a stupid oversight on my part! But, now we're golden, for the rest of the tour this won't be a problem.

Austin was an awesome, wonderful show - a big crowd of open and enthusiastic dykes & curious types joined us at the Electric Lounge. From there we went to Houston and played at this gorgeous, cool experimental theater/live-work space for a very small audience. A few dykes, one of whom had lived in SF. The former SFian (sorry, her name escapes me at the moment) took us on our futile effort to find a mechanical bull in a bar. Unsuccessful, we left Houston that night for another over-night haul to New Orleans.

New Orleans, picturesque and decrepit offered the promise of hosts we didn't know who had heard about us from others we didn't know in Atlanta. The southern dyke mafia... that was Chantel and Amy who run this very rad upstart anarchist bookstore and "info shop" called the Cresent Wrench. Despite a not very large or respectful crowd in a strangely suburban seeming bar called Rubyfruit Jungle, we had a fun 2 days in N'orleans. Some people stayed at the bookstore and the rest of us stayed on the corner of Desire near Piety, where the bus called "Desire" reminded me that Tennessee Williams and the romance of the past is only obliquely still evident. We ate at the Coop and our pink-haired, tatooed bartender Juliet regaled us with tales from her broken heart. We thrifted and drank and did loathesome touristy things on Bourbon St. and around the French quarter and got a little taste of that strange place where the architecture somehow contradicts and constricts the notion of regular, contemporary life. From there it's just been a trip.

DAY 19, from tara Good Lord so much has happened....
I'll start with the van breakdown....
We had just eaten this lovely fried meal at a diner off the highway, very nice waitress, rednecks outside. I think Sini got this guy on videotape saying that we were a bunch of freaks and if he had his shotgun he'd put it to each one of our heads. Grody. We got back on the highway and soon after witnessed the OK van pulling over behind us and we knew it was too soon for a pee stop, even for Sash. We walked back to the OK and it sounded like the engine was throwing dice or tossing around prayer beads inside. We called a tow from the Sister Spit Cell Phone and these good old boys showed up, clearly drunk and not charmed. They hooked up the van with Sini and Seinberg and Cheri inside because the mini-van was so packed and then the tow driver came back and said, "I just wanted to know how many of y'all are in here so I know how many bodies to search for when we wreck this thing. Cheri said Whatever happens I love you guys. Seinberg said Lean on the horn Sini get out of the fucking van. Sini said But we're already jacked up. Seinberg said Lean on the horn, get out of the fucking van. They jumped down from the van and Sini told the guy You just managed to scare the shit out of all of us and we are going to ride in the other van. Mr.Tow-Guy said That's probably a good idea. So we follow Prince Charming to his garage, the only place open on Saturdays, and he's not sure he can look at it.

We packed into one big room at a Comfort Inn after being chased out of the Motel Super 8 parking lot because the owner spied on us and realized that there were more than four of us as he had been told. The next morning we found out that we had blown a rod, needed a new crank shaft, and it would take around ten days and over a thousand dollars to fix. So we had to sell our very dear love, OK Van, for $225 in parts, plus the man who bought her paid our extra towing fee. This was a blow to team morale.

We rented a Mercury from a rental place about thirty miles away and packed the Astrovan to the gills. We met up again in Atlanta at the Red Light Cafe where we performed, followed by the rockabilly band Jane West and the Lone Star Impalas. They were a big draw so I think a lot of people saw us who wouldn't have otherwise attempted to. We had a lovely host, Sarah West's friend Ria, who cooked us a huge meal and took us to a local legend strip bar. At the strip bar was this woman who had worked there for nineteen years named Blondie and she crushed beer cans between her tits. She would also slap people in the face with these tits. She was great, real charismatic and beautiful.

The next day we left for Athens, wondering who the hell would come to see us there, and we arrived to a room filled with expectant faces and I wondered are they waiting for coffee? and actually they were waiting for us. We had a great Sister Spit Unplugged show there, no mikes just blabbing to a respectfully quiet room. After the show half of us left for Asheville and the other half went back to Atlanta with the Mercury to exchange it for a Budget cargo van rental which caught up with us in North Carolina the next day.

We had a low-attendance show at The Green Door in Asheville, the space was great the stage was like a roller rink and the people who were there were quite nice. By this time I had a full-blown snotfest kind of cold. I could hardly think. We stayed in Asheville a couple days and rested in the country which was gorgeous and I think a lot of people saved up their exhaustion for these very few days in the hills. Cheri and Sini commandeered gorgeous vegetarian meals for us, aided by the girl Hilly who lived there. She was an excellent host and I think many of us would be a raging mess if it weren't for that stop.

Next we were on to Charlottesville. We had a show at the Tokyo Rose, a sushi restaurant with a performance space in the basement where Tribe 8 and Sleater Kinney had played. I was still snotting a thousand. A friend of our promoter's made an amazing pasta dinner for us. The show ended up packed and rowdy. The crowd was excellent, listening but responsive, they were loving the shit out of us. We sold lots of merchandise and the whole thing put the un-snotty girls in great spirits, I was asleep and drooling in the van kind of a dull roar of non-enthusiasm. That night we stayed at a women's camping ground, which we had thought was a zen farm but was not much to our white light chagrin. We had two nights there, although after the first night six of us split off and headed to Washington D.C. to get out of nature and see Eileen read at a Tower Records.

The reading was fun and we went out to eat with these two great friends of Eileen's who also put us up in their apartment. Topiary and I did tag-team tarot readings for everyone involved.

Today is Friday the nineteenth and our show tonight is in D.C. at this women's bookstore called Lammas. We are reading on the roof, actually I am going to sing Where the Streets Have No Name and the other girls are going to read. Hopefully if we can get out of the house today we will go to the Smithsonian. I am glad to be here as I have never seen our nation's capitol and that seems like an important thing, maybe reduce the Big Brother status the White House has in my mind by the most minute fraction.

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DAY 20, from michelle Good Morning from Baltimore!
This place spawned John Waters, right, and Cookie Mueller, so I'm sure there is lots of strange and good and interesting things here, not to mention good thrifting, but I haven't seen a lot of the place.

What I have seen I like, it's a little colonial but kind of industrial too, which I like a lot, trainyards and stuff. Our show was at a very chi-chi french cafe that specializes in goat cheese, I had an expensive wedge of the stuff as I was about to keel over from hunger, it was kind of like quiche. Goat cheese pie.

So the space we performed in was very long, with a backdrop of huge dark paintings of peacocks and pelvic bones that were good, and the show itself was attended by a bunch of excellent dykes who seemed to enjoy us.

The dyke community here is very rocked right now by this really horrible thing that happened, this very political young dyke who helped found a lesbian avengers group here was killed very recently as she was closing up at her workplace. Her name was Caity Mahoney, she was close with the women who brought us here to Baltimore, and last night's show was dedicated to her.

The women we've met here are wonderful, I want to tell you more all about it, but some girls have come to whisk us away to Philadelphia, where we have a show tonight.
Did you all know that Edgar Allen Poe is buried here in Baltimore? We might make a pilgrimage . . . I'll get back to you . . .

Love, Michelle

PS - Love Love Love to all the chicks in San Francisco who are scrambling to help us from afar with benefits and sweet thoughts, we all feel warm & fuzzy & well cared for here out here in america. . . .

DAY 33, michelle Greetings from the illegal insides of the Budget Cargo Van!

I'm bouncing & rocking all over the place as the van zooms out of Cleveland and on towards Detroit. This whole part of the country - particularly the east coast (is this still the east coast?) - has been such a crazy whirlwind.

Philadelphia was a great all-ages show at the new gay center, we each got to do one piece written by someone else on the tour, something we'd been talking about doing for a while. It was pretty hysterical, the big highlights were Ali doing Sini, complete with the trademark yellow glasses; Sini doing Eileen's 'Merk' in pure Sini fashion - very loud, with a couple "Fucking"s thrown in. And Eileen doing Tara aka 'Pantena' was completely insane, performed in some kind of weird snooty british accent, wearing a feather boa, doing Pantena's strange yoga-ish moves on the floor. I was a little afraid our gigantic in-joke performance would bore & alienate the audience, but they really liked it.

After Phili was New York, where all the girls were split apart, staying at different houses and it felt more like a weird vacation than the tour. I saw Rod Stewert eating breakfast, he looked really bad but I still got excited seeing him. I went to see the Cindy Sherman show at MoMA, it was sponsored by Madonna, who Eileen believes should sponsor next year's Roadshow. So if anyone knows how to get in touch with Maddy, please let me know. And did anyone read her goodbye to Versace in Time? What a fucking idiot! I'm so sorry she won't get to stay in his villa & be pampered anymore, this must be a really hard time for her. But I still would like her to kick down some cash to our traveling all-girl literary revolution.

ANYWAY, NYC was rad, a little show at Rising Cafe in Brooklyn, and a sold-out house at P.S.122, a show Topiary & Eileen put together from the road, a very tricky thing. It was a great night. Next was Boston, another sold-out, people turned away at the door, standing-room-only show - can you deal with all these people coming out for poetry!!! It's pretty fucking incredible.

Boston was wall-to-wall excellent girls, and there were a bunch of moms & assorted family members in attendance, including my own. It was the first time she ever heard me read, actually it was the first spoken word event, lesbian event, weirdo event, whatever event for my mom, and I think she held up pretty well & even enjoyed herself, though she was also slightly disturbed.
It's good to periodically disturb your mother, don't you think? Ali's mom stole the show, joining her daughter on stage to read her lines from Ali's piece "The Story of Slutty." She made all kinds of great exasperated mom faces while Ali read about being 15 years old smoking pot in a changing stall with a 27-year-old floosie.

Next was fantastic Provincetown, by far the hardest place for us to leave. Well, it was hard getting out of New York, but that was because Cherie took the wrong train and got lost in Queens for 2 hours. But Provincetown was fabulous! Another packed show, where we were joined by local poet Kathe Izzo, the lady responsible for the terrific event. Kim Silver & Annie Sprinkle opened their homes to us vagabonds, and Annie taught Ali a new boob trick - how to light matches off her nipples. She nearly got arrested on Commercial Street one night lighting up her tits for our entertainment. You'd think the cops in P-Town would have more of a sense of humor. A bunch of girls went whale-watching and had very spiritual experiences watching the humungous mammals flip around and wave their fins. Cherie, who used to live in P-Town, took us across the breakwater to her secret swimming hole, and we swam with the crabs & minnows, and I held a couple starfish and as you could guess that was pretty cool. We got some good illegal tattoos from Cherie's friend Chris - tattoos are still illegal in Massachusets, and you still can't buy booze on Sundays either. Coming into town right as we were leaving was Club Casanova - a very swanky & hilarious drag king show from New York City. We got to catch their act the night we left, Mo B. Dick, Dred, Will Doher and Labio, Fabio younger brother. Cherie & Sash hopped onstage and sang a country song as a pair of incestuous brothers recently kicked off the Garth Brooks tour for their forbidden love. Finally we tore ourselves away from Provincetown. It was very hard.

Back in the van for an overnight 15-hour drive to Buffalo, we haven't had to haul ass like that since Texas! We were like a bunch of 7-11 hot dogs on one of those rotating hotdog wramers, all of us lined up & sleeping in the back of the Budget. In Buffalo we were welcomed into the House of Kate, who not only put most of us up in her huge & excellent house, but also kept us thoroughly entertained. Our show at Hallwalls was great and very, very bittersweet because it was the final show of the original Sister Spit line-up. Marci & Ali have since returned to their lives in San Francisco & New York, and Eileen is off writing in the woods at a writer's colony in upstate New York. I don't have to tell you that we miss them a lot. Marci was a really good, solid, sensitive & stable girl to have on the tour. Ali is not exactly stable, but her constant humor & sweetness even in the tensest of situations, is sorely missed. Plus, Sash has lost her drink...

(......oops!!!!'s where michelle ran out of batteries ... we'll get the rest of the story soon!)

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coming home...from, tara
Upon returning home I knew not if my feet had shoes or wheels on them. I thought I was a van. I wanted to be a van. Now I am glad that I am not a van because I cannot live my life inside polyester lining. I only line myself with polyester for boogie-filled nights carousing in San Francisco. (I just want to note that I am reading this a year later and I realize I am weird.--Tara) The ride home was lovely and I got my first speeding ticket ever in Wyoming, handed out to me by the most generic, stereotypical looking jerkbag of a cop. Duh. I tested my limits, or pushed my boundaries if you're a self-help wanker, by driving an all-night and into-the-morning shift which landed the four of us in the Astrovan (Sash, Harriet, Uncle Cherie and I) at the Badlands of South Dakota. Unfortunately by the time we got there I was exhausted and could only be a shithead. I napped in the back of the sweltering van and missed some incredible hiking. Upon returning to the van the ladies told me they had taken some senior portrait pictures in the flowers on their hike so naturally I wanted some taken of myself, at the mouth of the trail. We rambled on and stayed at a Howard Johnson's the next night somewhere in Wyoming which was exciting because I've never stayed at one and we ate pasta dinners in the hotel restaurant. I couldn't imagine stumbling any further and the women working there were real nice and there was some guy trying to charm our waitress with a story about his last DUI. At some point we stopped to get the Astro's oil changed and shopped in a small town and I think I got yelled at by some guys in a Jeep saying WOO-WOO or something, I think they liked my butt. Or thought I had a good mind for numbers. (This was really a less-than-sane time for me.--Tara)
As we entered California at Truckee my heart was filled full with rubber ducks. I was excited but not in a hurry. We stopped at a Starbucks and I have to tell you, it tasted fucking good, America. I was tired of Gatorade. We careened along toward San Francisco and I think it was one of those times in my life when I lived in the moment. I didn't want to be anywhere else, I wasn't in a hurry, I just soaked up the feeling of returning to my current hometown after a long time away. Moments like that don't always feel like much, maybe they feel like a coming-of-age movie or something. It just seemed everything was ALLright.

WAAAAAAY LATER, michelle OK all you kids out in webland, we've made it back in 12 fine pieces, and after months of living like feral, van-damaged poets - sleeping only on floors, drinking the worst coffee we can find, never bathing, peeing only outdoors and listening to nothing but the Geraldine Fibbers over . . . and over . . . and over . . .we've gotten our shit together enough to UPDATE THE WEBPAGE!!!!! Sister Spit's 1997 Ramblin' Roadshow was a incredibly wonderful adventure. I mean, we talk the talk, but when we hopped in that beautiful van (R.I.P.) none of us knew what we were getting into! What if nobody came to our shows, what if people came and threw eggs at us, what if everybody in the whole country was really mean to us, what if we lost all our money on the slots in Vegas . . . it didn't happen! What we learned was that there are amazing audiences out there in this country, and they're hungry for POETRY! No way! And queer girl poetry at that! We had some very tiny shows, some shows too big for us to believe, all of them were inspiring and challenging. We met hordes of fantastic people every place we went, we were grandly cared for by the Lesbian Nation, and a good part of Fag Nation too! And, although many people in San Francisco were placing cash money bets on how long it took for us all to hate each other - we didn't! And we still don't! Yes, 12 girls, all on different menstrual cycles, can co-exsist peacefully stuffed into two hot vans for over a month. It was like Biosphere or something. Our one big regret is, um, not keeping up with this here web page. Sorry! We hope to do better next year, when we hit the USA again with a whole new bad-ass lineup of chicks! We want to thank all of you who came out and supported us, who bought some of our fabulous merchandise, who fed and housed and inspired us to keep movin' on to the next town. You rock, and we can't wait to come visit you again next summer!

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