March 1, 2015

Donato Mancini and Paul G. Maziar


Sunday, March 1
7:00 pm

Mother Foucault's Bookshop
523 SE Morrison

The interdisciplinary practice of Donato Mancini focuses mainly on poetry, bookworks, text-based visual art and cultural criticism. He is the author of four acclaimed books of visual, procedural and conceptual poetry: Ligatures (New Star 2005) Æthel (New Star 2007), Buffet World (2011) and Fact 'n' Value (2011). He is also the author of the much discussed critical work You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence (2012), an extended discourse analysis of the language of poetry reviews. He visits Portland with a number of new publications in tow: Loitersack (2014), a poetics in the form of poetry, poetics, theory, theory theatre, questions and laugh particles; Multiple Bippies (2014), a re-issue of two books by Vancouver/Winnipeg poet Colin Smith, edited and introduced by Mancini; SNOWLINE (2015), a bookwork drawing together 600 years of translations of the French poet François Villon, published by ETH PRESS, of Spare Room founder Chris Piuma. 

Paul Maziar has written poems such as "Another Odalisque," an admittedly goofball reply to the famed painting which inspired many useless nudes to follow; "The Bad Dancer from Barbarize," a self-portrait in fragments; "We Sing For the Future"; and others which yet remain in manuscript. His chapbook, Little Advantages, which came out from Portland's Couch Press in 2014, is comprised of poems that have delighted even the most curmudgeonly of readers, and features a handsome cover painting by Will Bruno. No trophies or honors are worth mentioning.

from Geranium Days

Folly isn't in looking 
But staring unable to move
At symbols systems and rituals
Who can blame the house of Achilles 
The abode of me
A center of stuck sound 
Or drunk soda water
Not the stomach or the lungs
It's Giordano's buttoned lip that filled with smoke
When the guy next to me prays to the holy father
For himself and all his friends
Mysteries aren't among his skills
In paradise I turn up the epistrophy
And talk like a trumpet 
And love one who esteems 
Just about everything 

While there's still a morning 
I get crazy ideas
I go into the long tunnel
To somewhere 
The little Italian corner
What's Italian for under the avenue with lights everywhere 
You can hear the world up there
Where the trains cut across and snow builds up
No sun needed 
Loud bells muted bells 
Are we underwater yet?
Here comes a speedy light curving left 
It grows
Until our wigs fly off
A small child cries while his uncle laughs
In the wind off the screaming metal
They'll take the next one to dumbo 
The man with a beard
Down to his toes
Arrives in long coat with yellow stars
He plays a secret on a flute
And the child stops crying 
Bursts with laughter
Cries laughing at the mystery
And falls asleep before the next one 

Eyes close like these flowers
Springing out of pens and of gardens 
That light is relieving itself 
Your eyes on brandy mistake windmills
Carry me over the brook little bridge
Strawberries out of time out of season
Why do we always find you here Alma
Your celebrity loaf and losing your keys
Nothing but white ties chinchillas jewels 
In the movie palaces
The polished boys are fleeing now 
Fluctuating bows
Below their half smirks
They're breaking the spines of books

Who's to say we shouldn't have a drink 
And yell into a thunderstorm? 
You're not the you you think you are
Don't worry about these brandied roarings 
They're sitting ovations for you   
Better leave before they get here

Paul G. Maziar


from Loitersack

Every word was once a poem 

every word once sad apart to pin so 

sad as every word to go 

to not go get sad not you 

once sad to word to scratch it poem 

too once too too

sad to word-sad mod too 

old to go do all to

words once sad as total was

nor once sad as every word 

when was was not a word yet

every poem once sold mud once words 

so every very word-sad word

once was so so sad not so-so.

Donato Mancini



March 14, 2015

Barbara Henning & Charles Hood


Saturday, March 14
7:00 pm

523 SE Morrison

Barbara Henning is the author of three novels and nine books of poetry, most recently two collections of poetry and prose, A Swift Passage (Quale Press) and Cities & Memory (Chax Press); a novel, Thirty Miles to Rosebud (BlazeVOX); and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). A Day Like Today is forthcoming from Negative Capability Press. Born in Detroit, she has lived in New York City since 1983. She teaches for writers.com and Long Island University in Brooklyn, where she is Professor Emerita; you can read more at her web site.

Charles Hood is a Research Fellow at the Center for Art & Environment of the Nevada Museum of Art, and teaches at Antelope Valley College in the Mojave Desert. He had been an artist-in-residence at the Annenberg Beach House, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Playa, and the National Science Foundation. His latest book, South x South, about Antarctica, was published by Ohio University Press. Hood wrote about trees for Heyday Books' L.A. Atlas project, is a staff writer for the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, and is currently circulating three poetry manuscripts, including one about all the moons in the Solar System.


A BEDOUIN MAN

A Bedouin man isn't certain 
whether joining a revolt was 
life's proudest moment or its 
ruination. The object in your
pocket is a tracking device 
that just happens to make calls. 
Just perch the clock near the bed 
and put your phone on the stand 
and it will record your sleep 
patterns. Hello. Good night. 
The days are going so quickly. 
Perhaps we perceive quickness 
more in our busy lives than 
people did in previous centuries. 
Yesterday, Americans used 
their sizable advantage to run 
others ragged. We lay the child 
down into his bed and find 
each other under the sheet. 
Now with four arms, four legs 
and two heads, we circulate qi. 
Then the arm starts turning 
sideways in a gentle curve, tracing 
an S shape, the thumb heading 
up as the palm turns parallel, 
our bodies and souls parallel. 
Oh, the grief of separation. 
Don't think, dear, stay here.

Barbara Henning

Things the Doctor Asks

That is an interesting scar,
were you an especially clumsy child?

Count backwards from one hundred
in multiples of pi. Hold out both hands.

If you die, may we cremate you?
Why does my stethoscope transmit

a dim hum like a hive of bees?
Now get dressed. You mean 

you are not dressed yet even 
after all this time? Shut up

and stop counting. Open the door.
You will need Diamox, for the Pole.

You will need to shave those parts.
Do you know that you walk around

like a hut with legs?

Charles Hood
from South x South