June 16, 2019

Will Alexander & John Beer

Sunday, June 16
7:00 p.m.

at Passages Bookshop
1223 NE ML King, Jr. Blvd.
Portland OR 97232

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

Will Alexander
--Poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, philosopher, aphorist, visual artist, and pianist, who has authored over 30 books and chapbooks. He is a Writing Fellow, a California Arts Council Fellow, and a PEN Oakland recipient. In addition to the above he is also an American Book Award winner for his book of essays Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat in 2013. In 2016 he was awarded the Jackson Prize for his body of poetry, and in 2018 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Currently he lives in Los Angeles and is on the Cal State L.A. Advisory Writing Board and is poet-in-residence at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center.

John Beer is the author of Lucinda and The Waste Land and Other Poems, both from Canarium Books, and the editor of Poems (1962-1997) by Robert Lax, published by Wave Books. He teaches creative writing at Portland State University.

from Concerning The Henbane Bird

...yet I seem as one unlinked 
consumed by parallel disorder 
being he who dwells by self-haunted demeanour 
by numerical force claimed by bewitched injustice...

Will Alexander


Chapter one: We didn't understand the sequence,
So replayed it continually, Eliazar in his darling jacket,
Ms. Swampsinger singing, in blister-worthy fashion,
The swamp. "Come join us," the advertisement read.
Maybe when it's done, the harvest protocol
Will shake the many-headed beast to pieces,
I mean the lifeguarding staff, who administer demerits
Like they were the boss of the world. Night heat
Remains the best heat, I could have been that leaf,
And then deluge, then everything rendered slightly
Chocolate and bitter.

                                    Right about now the recap squad
Hurls reduplicated insults at the tiny pages floating
Lightly down from that horrible man's window,
Turning the Rocky Mountain dusk into carnival,
Indifferent to the screams that issue from under
My favorite piano bench. Kiss today and all its secret
Arrangements goodbye. The audience sat on its hands.

John Beer