Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dana Ward & Michael Roberts 11/1 7:30 pm Suzette

The Switch is excited to host Dana Ward and Michael Roberts Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. sharp (sharp) at Suzette, 3342 SE Belmont.

Dana Ward is the author of This Can’t Be Life (Edge Books). Two new books are coming out in 2012, one from Futurepoem Books, entitled The Crisis of Infinite Worlds, and another, as yet untitled, from Flowers & Cream. He lives in Cincinnati where he runs the Cy Press Poetry @ Thunder Sky reading series and works as an advocate for adult literacy at the Over-The-Rhine Learning Center.

Michael Roberts was born in the small seaport town of Newport on  December 7th and again a year later in February. Roberts attended a school for simple wooden machines with human features in his hometown and later attended the local grammar school when his father went bankrupt and moved the family to Moscow. Roberts, only 16 at the time, decided to remain in his hometown and supported himself by tutoring as he continued his schooling for 10 more years. In 1987 he began to enjoy some small notoriety as a writer with small poems appearing in various papers, including Peterburskaia gazeta from 1987, and Novoe vremia from 1988. Roberts also published 2 full-length taffeta prom dresses and 2 small jewel-like blemishes above his right eye during this time, one of which was translated into Polish in 1990. This seems to have been the turning point. Interest in poetry grew to such fervor in the subsequent 12 months that in 1991 Roberts was abducted in a “black” operation and borne secretly to Oregon where he would spend the next 10 years composing surrealist poetry for the American Space Program. In 2012, an amnesty was granted for artists working under the umbrella of “Celestial Mechanics”, which brought him to Portland at last. Today he divides his time between writing and the perfection of the Fish Stick, his favorite dish.

I Live in a Castle
by Michael Roberts

Leave a note for yourself in the big room
so you'll know what not to do
you think you're reframing a mystery

What emotion has been encapsulated?
on a day like today whatever she felt wasn't fear
not commercial fear anyway

Here she is
mind-blowingly empty
or just blowingly

Like the gods
we're only human
in direct sunlight

So we're off to slave labor
our semipermeable minds a curious shade of blue
blue of the ragtag sea

Surrounded by masters
imaging each other as something
other than a slave

Someone else
who said the big room exists
but I don't recall any note

You could practically be loved
I wave
you wave back

You're right
Sicily is beautiful in winter
you describe the sky to someone else

Willows on Fire
by Dana Ward

The summer night
is like a perfection of thought & Patron
a perfection of that.

So the difference between Patron
& water is that clear Sarah looks to see
her eyes through all that's left--

the image of the structure
on fire hung up in the structure is pillow talk
the thing that gets me hottest

as Willow on fire with grief
found the necessary callousness to call
the doe from nowhere out of trees

then slit its softish throat
for young blood. She loved herself
far too much to ever suffer

Buffy’s corpse in the soft agave
ground, & running water from the tap
the fucking mystery of feeling & the weirdness of sensation

where Brechtian surgical lamps
incandesce with the power smiles pushing
through blush in French painting

to light the indelible candy
this rookery yields like our lives to plainly
death as if we knew from economics.

Oh god why am I so upset
by the mildew all over this copy of ‘Motherless
Brooklyn’ is there something

growing sundial feelings washing up
on the nano-reef here at our faucet
a ribbony Mao Molly brought from Beijing

hangs beneath this kitsch ceramic clock
where an angel guards the face of a cloud
frozen up & correct

twice a day semblance of injurious perfection
it is so much like water
when it stagnates in the heart.

It makes a living culture
when the lab-work comes back
it's as if instead they tested lake of fire.

Willow’s love for Buffy though
will always be more real
than anything we’ll ever feel

between us, in credulous bodies
there’s nothing like the lively despair
of Willow’s spell? We’ll never see

its sacrificial, self-regarding picture
if we give our sails to one another well
send the body of our lover

in a vessel of pure disbelief
at their loss that stays impossible, we leave
one another inside us over rivers

dying in its commons, & heaven
an imageless pacification that engines
all the images fails.

For Buffy this anodyne nowhere
flowing with saccharine prescience
made her hate tap water then

once Willow brought her back
from the total Patron of the corporeal end.
They show her standing there hand under the faucet

thinking with this blank expression
to herself & staring where to time that's hard to tell I think
she's thinking fuck their hapless, fearsome care that brought me back