October 24, 2009

Michael Autrey & Peter O’Leary

Sunday, October 25
7:30 pm

Concordia Coffee House
2909 NE Alberta

$5.00 suggested donation

Michael Autrey was raised in Oregon, and attended schools in France, Greece, and his home town of Portland. From the Genre of Silence was published by Dos Madres Press in 2008. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, and has lived and worked in Prague, Geneva, New York, Washington DC, rural Paraguay, and south India. He resides in Portland.

Peter O'Leary's books include Depth Theology, Watchfulness, A Mystical Theology of the Limbic Fissure, and Wren/Omen. Benedicite is forthcoming soon from Answer Tag Home Press. He lives in Berwyn, Illinois, and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Vocations to poetry and religion have committed him to the pursuit of an itinerarium mentis in deum, the journey of the mind to God, with particular attention devoted to the mystagogical-initiatic and the mytho-poetical.


When the sun caressed your irregular profile,
minted it on a wall of cinder blocks,
I appraised what I should have kissed.
Instead of opening my hand closed into a fist.
Now you don't take my word for it
and not because words fail;
skin doesn't take as wax takes the signet.
Speech cannot touch where we put our lips.
Sitting next to you my heart contracted,
gripped for an instant blood's gist.
A pity this is so melodramatic:
the afterlife of love is everything love is not.
Escaping east, deep in Big Sky country,
the path of droplets up the windshield
mirrors the Leonids' streaking descent,
each wish a wish for you
to be looking when I look back.
High beams magnify the eye shine
of nightjars on the macadam's edge.
(They feast on what the headlights attract.)
Wipers smear the sludge of insects.
Sagebrush drifts against the miles
of whistling barbed wire fence.
A Great Horned Owl flies
up from a swollen doe, roadkill odalisque.
Is nothing written on the body?
A braid of scars tails off at your sacrum:
agony, translated into Braille.

(From the Genre of Silence)

Michael Autrey

from Benedicite

Make holy
all you works of God with praise & exultation
you angels of God & you heavens, you magnifiers of all the single quantum's original energy
you hydrogen & helium, you universe of frenzied particles billowing out
you primordial billion years depthless night shuddered toward transfiguration through
you praise, you magnification
you unbearable creative moment
you consuming sacrificial force;
make holy
you galactic internal dynamics, you spew of stars, you luminous intensities
you waters coursing over heaven & you dynamos generating their power
you slow-burning yellow star
you socket of life
you Sun & Moon
you same sized argentine luminaries drifting in the skies
you fungal spores into the sinuses huffed
you wicked lunar eclipse
you dais of cooling light years

Peter O'Leary