Ballet to the People meant to show up at Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland on Saturday in time to gatecrash company class. But on the way to the studio she succumbed to the siren song of Mother Foucault's Bookshop. With its vintage office furniture and massive, mismatched, hardwood bookshelves, old and new literary fiction and hardcore philosophy books tantalizingly strewn about, it has the air of a shop that's been around a lot longer than its three-and-a-half years. Mother Foucault's is presided over by a young Lord Byron, whose name upon inquiry turned out to be Craig Florence - which struck Ballet to the People as aptly romantic for a bookseller ("Yes, I know, women have wanted to marry me just for my name... and I've already been married twice.") Florence once worked at Shakespeare and Company on Paris' Left Bank and eschews frivolities like computers and credit card machines.
Ballet to the People tore herself away and, clutching two volumes of poetry (by Slovenian Tone Škrjanec and Portlandian Douglas Spangle), dashed across the street just in time for révérence.