January 10, 2010

Kyle Schlesinger, Charles Alexander, & Joel Bettridge

Sunday, January 10
7:30 pm

Concordia Coffee House
2909 NE Alberta

$5.00 suggested donation

Kyle Schlesinger is the proprietor of Cuneiform Press, recently relocated from New York to Texas, and coeditor of the journal Mimeo Mimeo. His latest book, What You Will, is due next month from New Lights Press; Charles Olson at Goddard College, which he edited, will be out from Effing Press in April. Kyle's writings and research related to poetics, visual communication, and artist's books can be found at kyleschlesinger.com.

Charles Alexander is founder/director of Chax Press, publisher of innovative poetry and book arts editions. His books of poetry include Hopeful Buildings, Arc of Light / Dark Matter, Near or Random Acts, and Certain Slants. He shares a studio and life with Tucson visual artist Cynthia Miller. Lately he has been lost (or found) among the poetic waters of Ludovico Ariosto, Walter Ralegh, Marie de France, and David Jones. He'll surface sometime soon . . . perhaps.

Joel Bettridge is the author of two books of poetry, Presocratic Blues (recently out from Chax Press) and That Abrupt Here (2007), as well as the critical study, Reading as Belief: Language Writing, Poetics, Faith (2009). He coedited, with Eric Selinger, Ronald Johnson: Life and Works (2008). Currently he is an Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University.

There's nothing more

To it
Than that

The sky is
Broken and

It's making
A mess

Kyle Schlesinger

    if I place this word on this page will a here develop
    more than an accidental mark less than destiny or life's calling
    physical fact is a line of verse curving to the right spiraling
    into the air incising itself into a sheet of paper
    sew it closed so that it opens
    throw it far so that it embraces you
    crunch the language of consonants
        so that it sings
    howl the language of vowels so that
        it floats upon matter or with matter or without
    in the red room we sit with straight spines
    in the blue village our ears rise with readiness
    in the white car our hair is blown back by a breeze
    at the end of the road we see a path
        the end is not in sight
        the grass underfoot sighs for lack of love
        we lie down and feel it upon our chests
        for we have been identified, carried away
        into the center that neither holds nor unfolds completely
        into the last curious question
        into the color blue
        into the perilous light
        into folds and fields

    Charles Alexander

His theory of becoming having failed, Philolaus seeks an answer
to his puzzlement from the Oracle at Delphi who channels Bessie Smith

At least it's a day distinguished like every other
in knowing in the end that everyone will be in a right damn fix,
a house we can't live in no more
a tongue that echoes, the intelligence only in what encompasses us
a dialectic that can't understand itself
and even still you find enough trouble to make a poor girl wonder where to go.

Joel Bettridge