Stefene Russell will be one of the featured readers at Chance Operation's 5th anniversary reading at the Tavern of Fine Arts, 313 Belt Avenue, on Monday, April 27. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; admission is FREE.
Also featured will be Sean Arnold, Julia Gordon-Bramer, and Tony Renner.
Open-mic readers will step up to the mic between our featured readers.
Stefene Russell is St. Louis Magazine's Culture Editor and a member of Poetry Scores, an arts collective that translates poetry into other media. She is also the author of Go South For Animal Index (2007) and Inferna (2013).
Keyhole: Emergency Mockingbird
She sings one thousand songs a night.
She sings the blurry fretting of night doves.
She sings stuck hinges, worrying in their own way,
and the dog testing his bark in the cold dusk.
She’s all small gray birds, the ones you spy
tail seesawing the fence-line
as you sift through mail on the porch.
When the summer climbs its sine curve
of heat, and the lawn begins to singe—
the season you can never sleep—she
sits on the roof, singing to you, the same tune
over and over: that one
about someone stealing your car.
She remembers your face, even on days
when you don’t. She is up on the phone pole,
watching you curse your garbagey life
when you lock keys in the car.
Maybe she cares. Maybe she’s afraid
you’ll trash the whole world,
and her, unlucky enough to be around
when you do it.
-- Stefene Russell