February 19, 2011

Susan Schultz & Donald Dunbar

Friday, February 25

7:30 pm

The Waypost

3120 N. Williams Ave.

$5 suggested donation


Susan M. Schultz is author of Dementia Blog (Singing Horse Press, 2008) and several other books of poetry and poetic prose, as well as a book of essays, A Poetics of Impasse in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (U of Alabama Press, 2005). She edits Tinfish Press out of her home in Kane`ohe, Hawai`i, and teaches at the University of Hawai`i. Her blog can be found here. Dementia Blog was featured recently on PoemTalk.

Donald Dunbar lives in Portland and co-curates the reading series If Not For Kidnap. Donald blogs occasionally at Infinity Is Not a Hotel and has authored two echapbooks, Click Click (Gold Wake Press) and You Are So Pretty (Scantily Clad Press).  Donald doesn't read the same poem out loud twice, at least for a public audience.



I dreamed one night that I was in a hotel room filled with my books. I had a plane to catch, but I couldn't carry them. Sell them! someone said, but I said I could not. I woke at 3, checked the news of Egypt, then listened to the sound of my own voice cataloguing my mother's books. To each shelf I said no and no and no. It was as if whatever was contained in them was leaking out, as if memory had less to do with the past than with our attitude toward it, the intonation that covers it like red grease. The tail hook down, cables outstretched, you approach the carrier at a furious speed. Your fighter is but one word scrawled on the deck of a ship whose hold is an ambiguous space, full of men and machines and violence. I was here during the war, he writes, I was / in a house near here tho I cannot find it. The past tense of dreaming becomes the present's past: I was. I was here, but now I cannot guide me.

31 January 2011
Susan Schultz


I was prophesied to die at a certain age, and knew nothing that could cure me. Later, much later, the world was stretched out before me like leather, one morning after another. I asked the wise among my friends, "I will go out onto the white and endless savanna, is it there I will find my charm against sleep?" My wise friends consulted themselves, and they asked of me eight tasks.

    1) I am to go the fountain in town and put into it some of my blood, in the way I would talk with you or write.
    2) I will plant lines of rice in such a way that the paddy will grow into a palace.
    3) For my third task, I will solve problems such as chemical spills, oil spills, etc.
    4) I will find some way to herd the impala, and domesticate them then, perhaps through patience and repetition. In the morning I will pet them on their faces, and in the evening I will pet them on their faces. I will feed them, and wait with them, and pet them on their faces.
    5) GOTO 7
    7) I will draw a perfectly round O, or trick some thing into doing this for me.
    8) GOTO 4
    "So you have given up duty," my wise friend remarked, "that is a first step."

Donald Dunbar