Friday, July 2, 2010

Upcoming Events

Hey there! Looking for some poetry to spice up your 4th? Well, check out these upcoming items:

Rae Gouirand and Brent Armendinger
Monday, July 5 at 7:30 PM at Sacramento Poetry Center
Crossroads for the Arts, 1719 25th Street
Rae Gouirand’s poems and essays have appeared recently in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Columbia, The Kenyon Review/KROnline, Seneca Review, Bateau, Memoir (and), and Best New Poets 2009. The recipient of recent fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Santa Fe Art Institute, she received an award in 2009 from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation for outstanding work by emerging poets, and serves as Writer-in-Residence for the Cache Creek Conservancy. She is currently starting One By One Press at home in Davis, California.

Brent Armendinger was born in Warsaw, NY, and educated at Bard College, the University of Michigan, and the city of San Francisco. He is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Undetectable (New Michigan Press) andArchipelago (Noemi Press). He won first prize in poetry in the 2009 Chroma International Queer Writing Competition. He teaches creative writing at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

A poem by each, for your enjoyment:

Ufficiali de Notte, Florence, 1432

As twilight hums and men are released
from professions, the Office of the Night knocks,
checking at houses with sons, probing

popular neighborhoods near the unfinished dome
for nocturnal codes and conjugated
accusations. The great oculus squints

at writhing corners of shadows, the edges
of palaces and sheds where the city is undone
by its civics. Your family has dismissed you

from evening meals, and in this particular lane
a cloud of others’ suppers wafts from houses
where your presence would invite visits,

fines, beatings, worse. According to neighbors,
who have been asked, you couldn’t care less
about sex, never a woman swelling in

your parents’ house. Unseeing of your acts,
they sleep through your consoled entrance at
some late hour, edges rubbed ragged with imprints

of architecture, the rough fit of your front
into the urgent curve of that arch where you let
him pin you. Your ribs undone by the press of

the sandstone, you’ve just glimpsed the math
radiating from the perfect circle, these structural
thrusts. In every alleyway, men slur

the hymn of the half-done dome, a deadened
overture to the herringbone brickwork that hollows
above the streets. Another’s hands on your waist,

your shirt pocket tears from the weight of wages’
hard round mouths, national faces stamped
on their surfaces. These spill from the rip

down your marble-cold legs, lost in
the cobblestones, the only things you abandon
when those who have heard your small mouthings,

the tracery of your breath, come with their lanterns,
set you running through the streets, released
like an integer from flourishes of stone.

By Rae Gouirand


What a hidden memory is electricity,
lonely as an unflipped switch,
fetal as hope inside a camera.
In a dream a doctor scrawls
the syndrome erasing vowels
from our ventricles.We pull the staple
from his tally like a splinter,
scrambling the ink
into tanks of oxygen.

Waking breaks the bulb
over our head with wet eyes
and underwear. Scan our face
for blood and filament,
our impossible birth
precedes us.
How did we get here?
Medicine swerving the molecules
in our body like a one clock.
We ferment inside a hush
that's louder than disco.

Oh Hester, they cut letters
out of our dresses now
before they sew the final A—
they pin the missing shape to our skins
until our skins remember
who's missing. Grafting
teaches an orchard to pretend—
heavy fruit only
makes it seem
to bend.

By Brent Armendinger


Sactown Poetry Bands Jam
Date: Monday, July 19, 2010
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th & R, Sacramento

Hosted by Frank Dixon Graham: Featuring Junkyard Dog, FoShang, James Israel Band, Anna Marie, The Pickerings, Robert Grossklaus and Co., Mario Ellis Hill, Jackson Griffith, Jason Desmangles. Americana to soulful jazz, bluegrass to classic rock-n-roll. Brief poetry readings between the musical acts. Great show -- guaranteed! Free. Donations accepted. Benefits the SPC.

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