Stefene Russell will be a featured reader at the •chance operations• reading at Duff's
, 392 N. Euclid, on Monday, January 28.
The other featured readers will be Raphael Maurice
and Eric Schramm
Doors at 7:30 p.m.; admission $3.00.
Advance sign-up for the open-mic following the featured readers is encouraged. Click here
to sign-up via e-mail.
Stefene Russell is St. Louis Magazine’s Culture Editor, and is a member of Poetry Scores, an arts collective that translates poetry into other media.
In 2007, Poetry Scores translated her poem "Go South For Animal Index"
into music. The poem, with essays by Russell and Poetry Scores artistic director Chris King, was released as a letterpress book with a CD of the score, printed by Firecracker Press.
Stefene is also a former co-editor of 52nd City and Prinsesstarta
literary magazines, and was featured as part of River Styx’s Hungry Young Poets Series, the Observable Poetry Series (including 2005’s “Three Stephanies,” reading), the Archive Reading Series, and the Pulitzer’s Sound Waves series.
Her work has appeared in Pif
, The Lumberyard
, Bad Shoe
, and Otis Nebula
. Her poem “Thylacine,” part of a cycle of endangered species poems, was put to music by Tim Rakel of the Union Electric and released as a 7-inch single on colored vinyl, co-produced by Poetry Scores, with cover art by Sleepy Kitty.
Her chapbook, Inferna
, will be released by Intagliata Imprints on February 15.
Go South for Animal Index
For the world is from the beasts, and it is a beast.
Therefore he that is lost has been reckoned to the crafty one,
and that one is from the beasts that came forth.
No beast exists in the eternal realm.
And desire is in the midst of the beautiful, appetizing trees.
There is a mountain, shaped like an Indian.
One day, they say, he'll wake, and conquer Leetso,
The yellow monster, who was supposed to keep
America floating here above the sea.
Monsters are supposed to live under the magma,
But we took it home to live with us.
Our hero will drink all the water in Shiprock,
he'll sew up that stained pond
with a tooth and his longest hair.
"You'd look to the west-and there would be pink."
Atomic Number: 92
And the mouth opens in the seeding, deciduous trees.
Shinkolobwe: a wound is a doorway, this is a portal.
The old moon sleeps in the new moon's arms.
Bateke, auric in the trees, weebling through darkness
Blue like Gauls, but shining in the blackness,
There are no alchemists, only opportunists
And beneath them the debased cogs
Who bear wheelbarrows, packed full of lightning.
"Why a corpse as me would be afraid
of radiations of uranium? Misery already killed us."
Atomic Number: 88
And the trees failing in the beautiful, deciduous light
O Doctor Roentgen, thank you for this armature.
O Doctor Bequerel, thank you for this radiant salt.
O Pitchblende and Bismuth, here we go—
piles of rock squeezed to one glowing seed,
A złoty dusted in radium, a death confection,
Her black hats
Trussed up with astral flowers,
The beaker that started all of this,
Glowing on the white table.
Atomic Number: 84
And the snake continues to bite
Until it is only appetite
In the midst of the beautiful trees.
The new sparkly bark arfs Trinity!
And here is green glass—
Under that glow, astrocartography shows
Primary Transcendental Mercury,
Tertiary Transcendental Pluto
Fire tower, beautiful wire, burning rabbits,
"Batter my heart, three-personed God!"
Atomic Number: 99
And the oldest trees open their appetites
In the light that does not fail.
Little boys and fat men
Fall through glowing weather
Here are Polaroids
Of all you radon daughters
"A flash! A white flash sparkled!"
Atomic Number: 38
and nausea burns in the grandparent trees
In the midst of the beautiful, absent appetites.
The black dog becomes black spots
Borne on the wind; and the name of
The star is wormwood.
Radiophobia , timed like a waltz
And all these hailstones, glowing
scorpions inside—black ice and
leave the house, leave it unlocked,
unusually deep pits,
tiny dangerous bodies and coffins
“These glasses no longer deceive us!
These glasses show us more clearly—”
Atomic Number: 94
And together we are the perfect day,
And among us dwells the light which does not fail.
There are no beasts on Beast Island,
Only the dear chime of Greenwich mean time.
Atmospheric—Plumbob, Buster-Jangle, Hardtack, Dominic
And lambing sheds
The shade of the Atomic Cowboy yodels
"hoo hoo, damn good place to dump razor blades."
Uranium-bearing grapeshot, cobalt and copper
grapeshot carted in wheelbarrows,
and the blue-white asterisks --
"A is for Atom, B is for Bomb.
C is for Cancer, D is for Death"
Atomic Number: 111
Tell me: what is the power that will wash an entire generation?
Chart yourself south for the perfect day,
And the light that dwells among us
That does not fail.
-- Stefene Russell