January 20, 2018

John Niekrasz & Jean Day

Saturday, January 20
7:00 pm

1223 NE ML King Blvd.

$5 suggested donation (no one turned away)

John Niekrasz is a performing artist working at the nexus of music and the written word. His work struggles with such spectra as poverty and ornament, rigor and effortlessness, justice and militancy. His poems have appeared in Volt, Veneer, The Volta, Ancestors, and Cutbank. John lived, wrote, and curated events at the Cité International Des Arts in Paris in 2015. He has also created work as a fellow at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, ACRE Arts Residency, and Résidence Point Dom in Toulouse.

Jean Day is a poet, union activist, and editor whose Daydream is just out from Litmus Press. Recent poems also in Chicago Review, The Delineator, Across the Margin, Open House, Breather, and Jongler (French), and in Triumph of Life, forthcoming from Insurance Editions. Earlier books include Early Bird (O'Clock, 2014) and Enthusiasm (Adventures in Poetry, 2006), among others. She lives in Berkeley, where she works as managing editor of Representations, an interdisciplinary humanities journal published by University of California Press.

as long as it gets me from a to     basic contempt for my appearance

a family walks through the construction site

             explain how our own side destroyed our city for us

             constant stream from the treasury

stroller conquers pruned sycamore branch

the boss put up caution tape 

it flutters in smoke                

                                                             didn't realize we were sitting right 

under the kinetic history of ethics track

             your backpack is open is my favorite feeling

John Niekrasz

We were not even close.

Daihatsu jetsam sailed
on nuclear steam
Of course there's no such thing
as thought streaming from the ear-
buds of those in distress
in this sense we're all managers
fleshy bodies of fishes larger
than the lion supreme
paw raised
like a hood ornament
in mid-stride salute
can suffer
though the door closes after us
(Never cut to a door)
The great little dictator remains poised
in the needler's art
as to what we were
and what we were up against

Jean Day
from Low Life