Friday, May 28, 2010

Stefene Russell To Read on Monday, June 14, at Duff's in the CWE


The next •Chance Operations• reading will be Monday, June 14, at Duff's in the Central West End. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.

Featured readers for June 14 are Gena Brady Allen, Eileen G'Sell, and Stefene Russell. Interested readers may sign-up for the open mic first come-first serve at the reading.

Stefene Russell grew up in Salt Lake City, in a hundred-plus-year-old house built by a notorious polygamist; it was full of spiders and secret trapdoors for hiding extra wives and children. She is the culture editor at St. Louis Magazine, former co-editor of the late 52ndcity.com and a member of Poetry Scores, a collective dedicated to translating poetry into other media. In 2007, Poetry Scores published her long poem, "Go South For Animal Index," as a beautiful little letterpress book with a full-length CD inside. She is currently working on an epic (EPIC!) work of prose-poetry that's titled, at least for now, "Orphanus."

Tune of Lilac

The watcher turned her face into the dark
with a werewolf's eye for splendor,
and what was there to find?
High as trapped gaslight
caught in trees, high on a kind
of phosphorescence
(White, purple, pink)
A vision of
Striated lives
gone unstrung. Foxholes,
teacups hung on hooks,
Shampoo sets, sinkholes
and conversation pits.
Little lavender?]colored mints
sitting in a dish
for twenty years.
Purple glass grapes
strung together with rusting wires.
What use do you have for your hands,
man? What use do you have for your
hands, woman? Why no more nosegays,
no more funeral wreaths woven
from backyard flowers?
Why won't you read the book
of spoiled petals, drunken tulips
hanging after rain?
Fear carried close, a dried
mouse heart hidden in the chamber
of a poisoner's ring.
These flowers trembled after sundown,
White lilacs visible after dark,
little boys riding bikes past curfew
and hanging from clothesline poles
in the bruisy dark, knowing
how their not?] knowing makes them tough.
Decades from now,
they'll notice some ticklish perfume
from yards away, a song they can't
remember the words to, or the way it ends.

-- Stefene Russell

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"22nd Century Waltz" by Sean Arnold



Sean Arnold stepped up to the mic at the •Chance Operations• reading on May 10 at Duff's.

The next •Chance Operations• readings will be Monday, June 14, and Monday, July 26, at Duff's in the Central West End. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. on both evenings.

Featured readers for June 14 are Gena Brady Allen, Eileen G'Sell, and Stefene Russell. Interested readers may sign-up for the open mic first come-first serve at the reading.

22nd Century Waltz

"this isn't bitterness, it's merely a tremor of the earth"
--frank o'hara


all these pretty women here without me in a vacated groucho-marxist room:
we pick up situations and put them down right quick
making bad decisions to the sound of white vodka crackling and
mute television movie sets big screened onto a panorama of skyline windows.
settle down, settle down, son
the river is pretty deep and there's a lot of sticks for sticking,
the cash trees are on fire and the ashes catch on children's parasols dancing a 22nd century waltz in what looks like rain.
we sow the stuff in the soft ground and reap nothing
catching the invisible sprouts in our teeth and swallowing easily.
the bartender watches this phenomenon through the window of his workaday,
he doesn't bat an eyebrow,
he's used to seeing a world drunk off its ass
kids picking the cigarette flowers and adults making bonfires out of greenslips.
he's almost used to the invented verbiage of the vulture-faced american surreal
almost
but all those frowns,
inverted and otherwise
are an intense archaic against a bad lit movie plot
the shades all drawn down.

-- Sean Arnold

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

City Lights on the Bus


Jacob Cohen knocked out the audience during the open mic portion of the •Chance Operations• reading on May 10.

The next •Chance Operations• will be Monday, June 14, and Monday, July 26, at Duff's in the Central West End. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. on both evenings.

Featured readers for June 14 are Gena Brady Allen, Eileen G'Sell, and Stefene Russell. Interested readers may sign-up for the open mic first come-first serve at the reading.

city lights on the bus

bus rides
flipping thru a poetry book
the 1st anthology of published poets i actually plan on reading
stepping up my game
living a full life
there are secret conversations hidden right in front of our ears
it's moments like these---
the beautiful trumpet woman with dreadlocks boards with 3 others
musicians, yes
gyspies? maybe, but beside the point
she has a young face, brimming with all those young experiences had these days in well-placed rags about soft-skinned bodies
we both want kombucha, but settle for beer and maybe there's something to this---
don't go too far
it's not safe
and i'm not famous
saint loser with nothin but a cigarette seems a trip now, the 30 bus comes intermittently, between thoughts of cartoonish existence and dreams of broken glass shards passing thru the jugular of (insert dead white man)
inspired, well less than inspired by poetry in motion, i keep eyes glued to page, but ears trailing towards the ---
i think she & her musician friends is headed toward red & black, i have a feeling---
it doesn't matter much, who is talking, just that i probably shouldn't be listening
we missed the bus, an hour
wait now
no, saved by the honk of a horn as two white people board the wrong bus
they are not us
i serenade sean to a ferlinghetti poem he has read before
it's all been read before
it's all been said before
we've all been dead before
i wander back to internal discussion with desire
she says i need not question, knowing damn well that this IS what's best for the both of us
i keep forgetting how much i've forgotten
this close to the brink of determination
eternal stagnation
the middle of a poem IS the end of a song
and a long
drawn-out pause can pass by in a blink
the city's plugged-in, it don't have to think
the city ain't burning
the city IS a suburb
the city got the PO-lease
the city died in a freak chemical spill, but won't keep it's fuckin eyes shut
the city IS a blank white page filling with dark red drips
the city IS a poorly placed question
a poorly worded answer
the city
THIS CITY
THIS CITY
smells like colon cancer
the city thinks one thought:
that IT is some final statement.
but we all wash away in the flood...

-- Jacob Cohen

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scavengers by Felix Dowsley


Felix Dowsley pulled double-duty at the •Chance Operations• reading on May 10. Felix not only played drums with the jazz trio Udi's Refugees, who provided music throughout the evening, but also read the following poem during the open mic portion of the evening.

The next •Chance Operations• will be Monday, June 14, and Monday, July 26, at Duff's in the Central West End. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. on both evenings.

Featured readers for June 14 are Gena Brady Allen, Eileen G'Sell, and Stefene Russell. Interested readers may sign-up for the open mic first come-first serve at the reading.

Scavengers

I.

Sadie sauntered quick as Gradle glowered
on reddened steps still slick with lapping sun,
heading east towards Riddles on the Loop.
Her counsel burbled on sententiously,
an octave lower than when they'd talked wine.
How long, thought gliding Gradle, will the bitch
pretend to care for my sure sanity when
all she wants is him?

Then sexy Sadie
paused and shook her hair as if a horsefly
buzzed her back. The interrupting synapse
brought the past as pleasure slamming to
the beat of Patrick bouncing on his car
(the dents he never fixed of course) and chanting
"pick me! pick me!"

Ah pathetic bastard
Sadie loved the passive pleasures more.
She spoke again, "Of course you must protect
yourself and look to your own happiness,"
and as she spoke the shadow of a crow
dipped softly, smote her face, and then flew west.

II.

Greg and I sat drinking forties on
our balcony, trying to guess if a
crow perched above the lot was hungry, hunting
pussy, or bequeathed with some profounder
purpose. "What if it's a portent?" giggled Greg.
"Keep its eyes off me!" I cried.

III.

Sadie gurgled mucus and rough coughed
a caw-aw-ah. The necking muscles rippled
as she bent to kiss quivering lips.
They were cold but she'd enjoy them later.
He murmured something inarticulate
through his plastic Popov vodka dreams
and choked a little. Sadie put on lipstick,
firmly pressed her mouth again his cheek,
and shut the door so quietly behind her.

-- Felix Dowsley

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Udi's Revenge


Udi's Revenge were the musical guests at the May 10 reading.

Felix Dowsley, drums, said the trio "played all standards: 'My Favorite Things' (as done by John Coltrane), 'Take Five' (Dave Brubeck), 'Now's the Time' (Charlie Parker), and 'So What' (Miles Davis), etc." The other members are Paul Antion, saxophone, and Stefan Santiago, bass.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photos from •Chance Operations• Reading #2


Erin Quick



Brett Lars Underwood



Molly McNew Ebel

Many thanks to our featured readers, Erin Quick, Brett Lars Underwood, and Molly McNew Ebel. Thanks also to Udi's Refugees, who provided jazz music throughout the night. And thanks to our open mic readers Mary Phillips, Felix Dowsley (drummer for Udi's Refugees!), Joseph Sulier, Jake Cohen, Sean Arnold, and Tom Simmons.

The next •Chance Operations• will be Monday, June 14, and Monday, July 26, at Duff's in the Central West End.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Molly McNew Ebel to Read at Duff's in the CWE on Monday, May 10



Molly McNew Ebel will be one of the featured readers at the Chance Operations reading on Monday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m., at Duff's, 392 North Euclid Avenue, in the Central West End. Also reading will be Brett Lars Underwood and Erin Quick. Admission: $3.00.

Jazz provided by Paul Antion on saxophone, Stefan Santiago on bass, and Felix Dowsley on drums.

As a child, Molly McNew Ebel was not allowed to touch trash cans, regardless, she grew into a somewhat-normal short person who doesn’t write creatively as much as she should, but writes for the financial services industry eight hours a day. She’s the wife of a quiet video-gamer, the new owner of an old home, and the soon-to-be adopted mother of a 3-legged basset hound named Peg.

32

There was once a photographer who proposed to his model
32 times.
She had beautiful mocha skin that he wanted to sip
as the sun rose.

He would only photograph her –
any other woman would break his camera.
She energized him, roused him, consumed him…

The first time he asked her, she thought it was funny –
by 12 it was flattering.
It was not merely a case of hard to get,
but something else.
He bought flowers, puppies, sang praises beneath her window,
but she’d only agree to pose.

When 32 came, she was naked and
he was behind the camera.
He asked and she smiled, considering –

The shutter clicked.

She shook her head from side to side but all he could do
was smile. There she was on film
considering life with him.
Artist and muse, husband and wife.

-- Molly McNew Ebel

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Erin Quick to Read on May 10 at Duff's in the CWE


Erin Quick will be one of the featured readers at the Chance Operations reading on Monday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m., at Duff's, 392 North Euclid Avenue, in the Central West End. Also reading will be Molly McNew Ebel and Brett Lars Underwood. Admission: $3.00.

Erin Quick grew up in Columbia, Missouri and now lives in South St. Louis. She holds a B.A. in English-Creative Writing and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Webster University. She has been a feature poet at Saxifrage Press, and has read at the River Styx Hungry Young Poets reading series. She has a poem forthcoming this spring in the chapbook Burleycue. She is committed to social justice and building community through literature.

Salmacis

I am not a boy, though sometimes
I wish I could be for you. Sometimes

the line between a kiss in the fountain
and the beauty of one plus one

feels soft, permeable, and I laugh
instead of cry. I am not a boy.

This is not for you, though
the word love comes anyway.

-- Erin Quick

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Brett Lars Underwood Reads at Duff's on Monday, May 10



Brett Lars Underwood will be one of the featured readers at the Chance Operations reading on Monday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m., at Duff's, 392 North Euclid Avenue, in the Central West End. Also reading will be Molly McNew Ebel, and Erin Quick. Admission: $3.00.

Brett Lars Underwood is a bartending gadabout who writes, promotes and produces happenings and mishaps in St. Louis, Missouri. He's quicker with the stink eye than verbal reprimands and favors the brushback pitch over preemptive warfare. He has the wingspan of an albatross and would prefer cash.

Maybe someday, but not

You glow and
I taste you in the moonlight
My tired lips remember you in a way
that
would disgust your husband
and confuse your children.
If your fruit hung on trees
populations would go mad
like they do
and populate deserts
never wanting for water or
other spices.

And I feel no shame
in these dreams.

But to make them best
we would have to
align tiger stripes on
the shade of the moon.
Shuffle logic;
Break the flying buttresses
of ancient architecture;
Finger fuck Shakespeare fans
on CNN.

All fun and reckless activities: all dangerous.

We would be better to
change society and
and inject vodka into nuns.
Or swill melted nickels with
financial analysts

So, I know that you do.
I know that I do.
We do.
As the swelling goes down,
we don't.

I hope that there is something.
I hope that there is a part.

There it is in the glimmer of a star.
I hear it in the sublime verse.
I hear your moans as my back creaks.
I hear the echoes of promises.

-- Brett Lars Underwood