Ed Milich at Cascade Moto Classics

 
Ed Milich at Cascade Moto Classics

Ed Milich reads from his new book 'Fueled'

Wednesday, May 18, 2011: Put on at relatively short notice, Ed Milich, contributor to GuzziTech and a number of other web and paper publications, read from his new book of poems and short stories at Portland’s Moto Guzzi dealership, Cascade Moto Classics. Only a handful of people were there although Janice & Kelly, the proprietiors, had taken their usual trouble to set out hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks and cookies and plenty of chairs for the show.  

Liz from Cascade helped Ed set up his movie show on the store projector screen and the show got going right around 7:15pm.
 
For those who don’t know Ed, he’s a tall, boyish fellow with perpetual enthusiasm for the world he inhabits, which is mostly track, track and more track interspersed with episodes of tragi-comedy in his shop where he prepares improbable machinery for vintage motorcycle racing victory.
 
Ed likes to set the mood with video from the cockpit of his various rides such as a $600 Moto Guzzi V65 with more or less standard frame and a tweaked engine and a Ducati Pantah. He reads selections from his first book ‘Wrenched’ and his latest, ‘Fueled’ to the background din of these two bikes howling their guts out around Willow Springs about 80 miles north of LA. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Ed is prouder of his bikes’ voices than his own as he generally likes to keep the video sound track running while he reads to the audience.
 
‘Fueled’ comes in two parts, first the free verse, prose type poems followed by a collection of short stories that he claims are just a tad too long for a book reading, but can be enjoyed at your leisure if you acquire his book afterward. Subjects cover the addictive sights, sounds and smells of vintage motorcycle racing, the colorful characters among the track junkies and their volunteer support staff and the ups and downs of horsetrading, preparing and racing the machines on which he competes. He confesses he’s nuts about motorcycle rallies, too and even fell in love at one. He finishes his poem ‘Rally Lust’ with the following: ‘Rally Lust, though compelling, is nowhere near as strong as Rally Love’.
 
Ed’s writings are a little like a new piece of music. You are not sure you like it as much as something else you know or the artist’s previous works; then, on further exposure, it grows on you and takes its place as the new favorite. I parted with $20 for a copy of ‘Fueled’ (as I also did with ‘Wrenched’ at an earlier reading), partly to support a fellow motorcycling nut and put a few gallons in his trusty F150 for the trip to his next gig, but also to be able to enjoy his work in quieter surroundings.
 
Whether you like to ride track or you just spend time tinkering with your Moto Guzzi, you’ll find in Ed a fellow traveler whose skinned knuckles, seared flesh and face full of WD40 (read his poem ‘Tears’) may poignantly remind you of your own shop and roadside dramas. Keep on trackin’ Ed !  

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