July 2, 2007

Roberta Olson & John Olson

Sunday, July 15th, 7:30 pm

New American Art Union
922 SE Ankeny
$5 suggested donation

John and Roberta Olson live in Seattle.

Roberta's most recent book, All These Fair & Flagrant Things, was published in 2001 by etherdome press. Some Numerous Dwarf Rippings, a chapbook of poetry, is due out soon from Portland and Seattle's own Flash + Card Press. She also has work forthcoming in the Golden Handcuffs Review.

John is the author of seven books of poetry and prose poetry: The Night I Dropped Shakespeare On The Cat, Oxbow Kazoo, Free Stream Velocity, Echo Regime, Eggs & Mirrors, Logo Lagoon, and Swarm of Edges. Backscatter is forthcoming from Black Widow Press in February, 2008, and Souls of Wind, a novel about Arthur Rimbaud traveling in the American West, is due out soon from Quale Press.

Zola At 62

Retirement, how ironic
Zola died of asphyxiation
The rock wall only seemed solid
It was designed
To stir things up but Zola
Found that even controversy can lead
To stagnation — a rock in the flue
Or the sacred color in tubes
A translucent touch to both
Full of light and flesh

The headlight child finds
A new point of gravity
Looking at mountains
Thinking of light mostly looking
At one mountain and as the light
Changed the mountain changed
And the light dried his eyes
And steadied his hand and his son’s
Icy body turned into a strange
Enthralling subject like a mountain
Reflecting light the hidden prisms
Rising like an incandescent smoke

Roberta Olson


Infundibulum. What a magnificent word. There should be a poem with that word in it. This could be that very poem. A poem with the word infundibulum in it. Infundibulum vibrating and hard like a hammer. Like a piano string. Like a hammer hitting a piano string. Infundibilum. The infundibulum sonata. Infundibulum rotating and ridiculous like Tuesday. Infundibulum created by a mouth. By a pair of lips moving up and down. A pair of lips moving up and down and a tongue and the proper occasion for saying a word like infundibulum. A moment of incense and rain. A moment of sand and knuckles and the goodness of style in the way an octopus moves. Moves through an infundibulum. A funnel-shaped object of metal languishing on the bottom of a harbor. Infundibulum sublime and fluid like French. Blood and bone and infundibulum. Time convulsing in an infundibulum of space and time and the funnels of eternity. Infundibulum weighing in the mind like a thought ovulating letters and sounds. Infundibulum tattooed on the arm of a woman involved with life. Involved with infundibulum. The infundibulum of life. Infundibulum with a face of science and scintillating sonar. Infundibulum with chimes and mummies and the hope of an eyebrow. A real infundibulum. A large and tangible infundibulum. Please. Please take this offering. This offering of an infundibulum. Take it and do with it what you will. Whatever it is you do with an infundibulum. What anyone would do with an infundibulum. This infundibulum. This infundibulum of stars and gravity and perfect understanding. This contraction. This egg. This sack of air. This stimulation of nerves. This lump of sound. This siphon of Cephalopoda. This infundibulum.

John Olson