Tuesday, June 26, 2012

July 16, John Beer & Rodney Koeneke: The Switch Under Sky @ Director Park

On Monday, July 16th, The Switch will host our second Director Park Summer reading. Poets John Beer and Rodney Koeneke will read, and the event commences from 6:30-8:30 p.m., downtown at 815 SW Park Ave.  

Rodney Koeneke is author of the poetry books Musee Mechanique, Rouge State, and a chapbook, Rules for Drinking Forties. His work has appeared in Aufgabe, Beloit Poetry Journal, Jacket, New American Writing, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Portland Review, The Nation, and ZYZZYVA, among others. Hobbies past and present include flarf, neo-benshi, and Poets Theater. He currently makes his living as a historian in Portland.

John Beer is the author of The Waste Land and Other Poems (Canarium, 2010). A longtime Chicago resident, he moved to Portland in the summer of 2011 to begin teaching in Portland State University's MFA program in creative writing. He is currently at work on a booklength fake translation of Friedrich Schlegel's 1799 novel Lucinde.


he runs mac ‘n’ cheese through a coffee cone

I run mac ‘n’ cheese through a coffee cone
but make no special shout-out to irrelevance
it’s Thursday and my boy’s gone
ants slip across a countertop
tonight I’m my own reason
for registering objects onto life
stars, go be the spangles
in someone else’s dancehall
a simulacrum of collective action
insensate at this distance
while it can be bright for someone
tonight I’m my own Dresden
with the fires, and the pen that writes it down

           by Rodney Koeneke


The thrash determines a maximal rate
spilling your liquid soliloquy
into pathways your friends recognize
muscular, not envisioning a sequence

until Jasper pipes up, unfortunate crooner
doomed to synthesize approximate voice
that we in the bleachers sort of pine for
until love becomes ventroliquism

I didn’t mean for it to end this way
bodies on the fence, a swinging ceremony
lionized as “the godfather of lyric”
until a nearby truck unloads our vegetables

hey you sitting on your neighbor’s porch
something set the planets in their motion
while I keep recommending the wrong book
the painter grinds her powder, desolate

the sun until it hands off godliness
to a distracted order called the day
or what we made of it, a bird that falls
toward ground that even faster falls away.

           by John Beer