March 31, 2018

Kevin Killian & Dodie Bellamy, launch reading for Writers Who Love Too Much

Saturday, March 31st
2:00 p.m.
at Passages Bookshop
1223 NE ML King, Jr. Blvd.
Portland OR 97232

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$5 suggested donation for the readers (no one turned away)

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Dodie Bellamy's writing focuses on sexuality, politics, and narrative experimentation, challenging the distinctions between fiction, essay, and poetry.  Her most recent collection is When the Sick Rule the World, from Semiotext(e).  Her chapbook, "The Beating of Our Hearts," was published as a chapbook in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial.  A recent essay on radicality appeared in the Philosophy section of the 25th anniversary issue of the French fashion magazine Purple.  With Kevin Killian she edited for Nightboat Books Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997.

Kevin Killian is a San Francisco-based writer and artist.  His books include Impossible Princess, Action Kylie, three volumes of  Selected Amazon Reviews, and Tweaky Village.  Recent projects include a novel, Spreadeagle, and Taggednude portraits of poets, artists, writers, musicians, etc.  Soon you will see Fascination (in two volumes from Semiotexte), Killian's collected memoirs edited by Andrew Durbin; a book of plays from the San Francisco Poets Theater (Stage Fright), from Kenning Editions; and a volume of Jack Spicer's letters (Wesleyan) edited by KK and Kelly Holt.  Meanwhile, Joco Seria in France has issued a bilingual translation of Killian's "elements" poems called Les éléments.  

from The Bandaged Lady

Even though you don't believe in black and white, in good versus evil, even though capital punishment appalls you, there's always that one person who has behaved so abominably towards you, who has schemed and plotted, betrayed you with a smile, that person who brings out the vigilante in you, a person at whom--even though you know better--you would gladly cast the first stone.  Dodie saw our enemy at a poetry reading.  Our enemy was wearing this creepy black leather jacket, hip length, kind of shiny, her hair was pulled back and up with a barrette, the last few inches of hair cascading over the top of the barrette like a hair fountain.  Despite the youthful way her hair flopped when she moved, she looked old, fleshy, her skin powdery.  Our enemy watched Dodie from across the room, hungry for information she could use to destroy us.  To evade her gaze, Dodie scanned the rest of the audience, most of whom she's known since the 80s, the whole room of them aging, the floorboards buckling under the weight of their aging.  All of them moving forward on an unstoppable conveyor belt, like the TVs in the RCA factory Dodie worked at for four days one college summer.  Entire families labored there, in Bloomington Indiana, generation after generation, Dodie was an outsider to their close-knit community, a college student (having lied on her application, saying no I'm not just seeking summer employment, I want nothing more than to make a career at RCA), and the other workers snickered at her pathetic job performance.  The Elvis records blasting from loudspeakers are almost impossible to hear over the roar of the machinery.  TVs relentlessly flow by and she has to tighten several screws and bolts on each of them.  Dodie cannot train her limbs to move fast enough--her wrench catches on a screw, but the TV keeps on going, pulling the wrench with it, twisting her arm.  One woman loved Dodie's hair.  "That strawberry blonde sure is pretty, how'd you get that color, doll?" she said with a Southern twang.  "It's natural," Dodie replied proudly.  That's the only dialogue Dodie remembers--a compliment on her looks--she was young, she needed to be beautiful, but she wasn't.  Her hair was nice though.

Dodie Bellamy



Is fluoride a compound?

Since I've committed to writing a serial poem about the elements,

Hell must freeze over before I stoop to writing about mere compounds,

much as they are precious to me, dearer to my heart some of them than some of the so called "elements."

Every time you see a yellow gas, it's fluorine,

Rocking the letter "f" and the low, low chemical number 9.

Kevin Killian