May 15, 2016

Whit Griffin, Timmy Straw & Shannon Tharp

Sunday, May 15
7 pm

Passages Bookshop
1223 NE ML King Blvd.

$5 suggested donation for the readers

Shannon Tharp is the author of The Cost of Walking (Skysill Press, 2011) and Vertigo in Spring (The Cultural Society, 2013). Her poems and essays have recently appeared in ATTN:, EcoTheo Review, Typo, and The Volta. With Sommer Browning she is the co-editor of Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel: Innovative Meditations on Librarianship, forthcoming from Library Juice Press in early 2017. She lives in Laramie, Wyoming.

Timmy Straw is a writer, composer and pianist from Oregon. Editions Plane published her first chapbook, To Water, Everything is a Swimmer, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Spork, Weekday, & Tin House. Her first album, State Parks, evidences her interest in lyric poetry, religious cadence, folk song, and minimalist piano, and she's currently working on a second. She also studies Russian at Reed College.

Whit Griffin has two books on Skysill Press and two on Cultural Society, most recently We Who Saw Everything (2015). Over the years he's had work in many journals, including The Chicago Review, Golden Handcuffs Review, Hambone and The Recluse. He studied poetry a Bennington and Brooklyn College, but his real education came working for Jonathan Williams' Jargon Society. A native of Memphis, he now shares a home in Wyoming with Shannon Tharp.



To write again having not for a while,
the clauses connected loosely, looping,
a nick of ink on the back of my hand.

Shannon Tharp

Apple of My Eye, Pluck Out My Eye

Here's the prairie
painted over.
Grass and shale and cattle sealed up
fur and fence and mineral.
No monument has
met what it
commemorates - no costume
what it enacts.
Spider eggs like little burls of lace
caught in the primer coat,
a thousand white veils over the grave.
O like & like, unjoin -
tell my eyes I'm my own.
Towns, fields - dry burrs
protecting the place
where once
the seed was.
Two suitcases in the backseat,
fill it in -

Apple of my eye, pluck out my eye
Apple of my understanding, outlive my reach

Timmy Straw

from The Universal Lyre

A ship built from the fingernails

          of the dead. The six               spheres we evolve through

after death.        The shaman notches his tree

                                        at nine levels to signify

the nine heavens. The many soothsayers

and sibyls who relied on henbane

                                     to achieve trance states.    Crystal

cave or oak tree? Silver beak and Nancy.

                                                                   The Messiah is a white


          The cross belongs to Mithra. Elias to Helios,

the sun god to whom Christ           called from

                                                       the cross.

            As this wheel of brass turns

            by grace of Aphrodite.

Demeter stands with wheatsheaves

and poppies in either hand. Hathor in the guise of the Nile

           Goose. New breakthroughs in meta-

physics. What will we be doing with graphene in fifty years?

            Elephants and harpsichords.

Clocks are the opposite                 of time. The

        whistle is spontaneous and emanates

from a knowingness.

                                     The popping beans open like butterfly

wings.       Some say the divine elephant is Behemoth,

        some Ganesha.                The dying animal

                              and the birdman.

The first boat,

the first coffin.                     What the cult of Attis gave

          to Christianity.  What the Timuna adopted

from the Creek.

                                It is the center and also the frontier.

The conifers emerged a hundred

million years before the beech or oak                 appeared.

                            Living off of crab apples and sloes.

Cat-tail pollen

pancakes. Lettuce

                    was introduced to England from Flanders

for Catherine of Aragon.


                  is seldom eaten with meat

                  without the Rocket.

      Just throw whatever

pickles you have in the salmagundi.        Many of you know the bear's

           britches. Yellow bear's ears.         The ass's ears to the stag's


                       Baleem's oracular she-ass.

           Donkey's milk is an antidote for henbane overdose.



futility, loss.     The cauldron is the Great Mother's

         cosmic womb. The regenerating nether womb,

                                            the lake of fire.

        The hidden current remains.

As it was said

                                 the little bear-god who replaced

the serpent was Arcas, ancestor of the


                   The Arcadians introduced lyres

and flutes into Italy.

                                                   Stonehenge mimics the yew

         grove. Pliny erroneously linked Druids

to oaks.                 That Dodona could have been a yew grove.

          Yggdrasil is a yew.

Whit Griffin