September 30, 2017

Sara Larsen, Shayla Lawson & Sara Sutter

Saturday, September 30

7 pm


Passages Bookshop

1223 NE ML King, Jr. Blvd.
Portland OR 97232

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

Sara Larsen is a poet living in Oakland. Her new book Merry Hell has been recently released by Atelos. Her previous book is All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). Sara has performed her work widely, including at The Poetry Project, the Berkeley Art Museum, Grace Cathedral, and LitQuake. Over the course of two years, she and David Brazil published more than 60 issues of the seminal literary zine Try Magazine.

Shayla Lawson is (and / or, at times, has been) an amateur acrobat, an architect, a Dutch housewife, & dog mother to one irascible hound. She has written for Tin HouseESPNSalonThe OffingGuernica, and is the author of the forthcoming I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean.

Sara Sutter is a poet based in Portland, OR. She's the author of the chapbooks O to Be Dragon & Sirenomelia, and she's slowly and semi-diligently at work on two more manuscripts. Sara helps curate the series P.U.R.R. - Poets United to Read, Rouse, & Resist.



from Merry Hell

                   you don't like my femme       my bones my         milieu of

manifesto         you load yr  aged stories with rape

        but    you       lik e   my rent , especially       my        back-rent

    there are so many ways to BE GOOD

            to not to to Hell.

to accept Paris.          to marry it.       to do duty.

       to adhere patriarchs .    to accept story ,

                      despite indignity.

there are so many ways to

               static space

                                    to not go to Hell.

      this is not those ways & this is

NOT       that story.

                                    Hell, I'm Helen.

Sara Larsen


sounded like houndsteeth / crashing into one another on rain- coats / eclectic as the sound of rain- water / in Costa Rica: pst pst pst pst / or in Texas: yes. The scent of shaving cream, the scent of unwashed teeth, and I felt so / I felt so / so lightly full of openings / so much / stiffness jostling like locks / between train cars. Not like these borders / we / wish to beseech. You turned to me and said, I can't put my finger / on it but I might as well / stick a thumbtack in that map / and, cloud, / string you along through every vapor. This is how I know the rain / in Panama: says tsk tsk tsk tsk / and in Jamaica, reminded / me of lit transparent / plastic / parkas we pulled from the first / aid kit when the sky / poured like a lift of / tropical birds. The car was rented. Or we didn't have a car / we rode / the one-eyed mammal. The bus / sauntered lazily as a dew bead, he looked, he looked at us. He percussed / the books of his reflections for two / creatures tall & not quite / lean enough to eat / into like the rock- sands of Greece that pill into our skins the shape / of shadows behind cat hairs, and I do not / write about you for you / are not washed out.

Shayla Lawson

Golden Cowrie

Flamingo tongue with a Saturn-ringworm shape,
mainly very polished, part
abalone sea-ear,
probably named "cowrie"

for the fissure's resemblance to the vulva
of a sow, or the breast-implant-
function it would later
fill. The Romans called it

"porculi" for porcelain and little pig.
The Greeks, "a column, a spiral
staircase, a rococo
currency." Today they're

known as "turbans," "seizing Europe with the same
fervor as Tulipmania."
Nonetheless, cowries use
holes to breathe. "The raised parts" --

nervures and aureoles -- protect by hugging
"mantle lobes, labral portions," when
movement occurs. They live
on submerged reefs emerg-

ing suddenly and slide over them with ease.

Sara Sutter