Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ashby, Haley & Wallace, 11/8, 7 pm IPRC

The Switch presents poets Chris Ashby, Jamalieh Haley, and Mark Wallace
When: Saturday, Nov. 8, doors at 6:30 pm, reading at 7 sharp. FREE
Where: IPRC, 1001, SE Division, PDX

Chris Ashby is a poet, essayist, and the editor of Couch Press. He frequently collaborates with Nate Orton on his My DAY series, assisting in publishing and organizing the events. His most recent books include My Day 31: Kayaking from Sellwood to Swan Island (Abandoned Bike), and After Language: Volume 1 (Couch Press, 2013). Salt Lover I-V is forthcoming from c_L. Chris lives in Portland, is a member of the Spare Room collective, and works in the forests, grasslands, and cities of the West.

Jamalieh Haley lives in Portland, Oregon where she co-curates If Not For Kidnap and teaches writing. Her work has appeared in Interrupture, Sink Review, Everyday Genius, Sixth Finch, and she is the author of Strange Tarot (Poor Claudia, 2014).

Mark Wallace is the author and editor of more than fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and essays. Most recently he has published a book-length prose poem, Notes from the Center on Public Policy, and a novel, The Quarry and The Lot. He lives in San Diego, California, and teaches at California State University San Marcos.

by Chris Ashby: 

from Despite Water

inside society’s fragrant voices

in foolproof authenticity sample

into physician’s saucy imagination

from pataphysical coffee tremors

near laughable prototype signs

for ideal cold transfer

of kinder test marks

except familiar daunting inflection

off rewarding Viking sunlight

during favorable laundry pressure

on zesty smoked capital

down one worrisome treatment

onto farmers’ opportunistic backs

despite obedient shelter catalysis

out here garish imagination

by Karl brewing flarf

outside logic mechanic’s song

beyond generous breathtaking chainsaws

over time town before country side

between indulgent garbage distinction

past Alberta’s burning articulation

beside bronze city eyes

regarding buoyant telephones weeping

beneath bacterial market oxygen

since quiet total domestication

below handy chlorine heaven

through error of weight

behind democracy’s haggard immanence

by Jamalieh Haley:

The world has angeled some of its horror
for you. Their figures appear serious in the
clouds--they withdraw all your blades from
the wound; clouds--they hold your crimes
hostage; like a battery, clouds--they place a
fire unmantled within; over your face,
clouds--their waterline shows the death
time; clouds asphyxiate that dark look to
become freedom; clouds that further the
expression that does not exist; in you there
are eternities during which lives are spent;
the weapons are shadows, the caves are
sexual perfection, and the clouds--they are
dirty halos for every human touch

by Mark Wallace

from Notes From The Center On Public Policy

            Lately there had been too many accidents. Street against street, plaza roped and marked, voices stuttered about public space and the rewriting of conditions. Beyond a sudden turn, or backed against a laser system, electric currents shot with a momentary stagger, apart from where faces leaned across tables, grasping for a common thought.
            Roles in the production pyramid exchanged anecdotes about what had happened on weekends. They’d heard this or that before, claims to insight expelled with propulsive force across the space of a body locked into its usual deepening grooves, except where a slice was misplaced, or protests cheered in the mud for a new totem with reverberations that backed against poles. Maneuvers learned to trick the trade or trade the trick or utter a clarification three stops past the last stop, leashed to a time-bound coded familiar, while competing bandwidths invented ways to look for love without commitment to believing even the first word.
            Secret phone calls flew between augmented voices, another sublevel of static below the constant audibility of self-presentation, words holding back or stretched beyond endurance, a function of what no single knot could admit about itself. Connections, broken when they shouldn’t have been, carried the aura of made-to-order wakes, flashbacks to scenes misremembered for ulterior or surreptitious motives, circumstantial and misled, that tailed off towards new metamorphoses of what remained unspoken. Oblivion was an assumed priority, although some preferred it to smell nice.
            After all, who didn’t approve of wit, yet many didn’t, preferring their windows, doors and bundles standard, segmented against impossible tasks, suffused with feeling or directness or a clarifying obfuscation, because what could be gained by looking out? Low level burns were distributed on swift guffaws, underachieving but occasionally effective in the race to produce a new axis on demand. Furtive underlings propped themselves against procedures, waiting for an opening that like a final kick might make them into a landmark. Trances multiplied, involving armaments always more up to date, shelved instructions on how to decline politely. From now on the package, a thing the whole world wants to use.
            It was an old trick to count invented suns, tabloid distortions, figurines against a backdrop, hollow points with clichés like fate on the accepted range of tattoos, repeated cries for a drugfest. Methods of belief, sorted in rows for easier choosing, could earn points towards future purchases. There were highly touted styles. Double tracked on the multi-layered wall options, fiberglass alloys imitated observers caught in postures of dismissal, hard against boards, tossed after weeks of smooth sanding to a redundancy easily carted off.
            Quick shifts in tone could expose years of hiding, while the skyline remained regular, subject to systematic interpretation. Those who claimed to be without theories theorized over channels and frequencies, voices enraptured by the sacred hum of their own repetition. Flare guns were popular, fireworks of all kinds, images of bodies in naked ecstasy photographed in conventional colors and poses. Every so often, words on screens would announce that something—a limousine, a credit system, the abstractions of exchange—was on the verge of bursting from its own contradictions, while contradictions walking the streets confused themselves with plunder. Then would come the apparently spontaneous but usually orchestrated call for a final push, a new misnomer, a spray can for killing fleas which also contained necessary nutriments.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Carter, Dowling & Zolf 9/22 7 pm IPRC

The Switch presents poets Nathan Wade Carter, Sarah Dowling & Rachel Zolf
When: Monday, September 22, doors at 6:30 p.m., reading at 7 pm sharp. FREE  
Where: IPRC, 1001 SE Division St., Portland, OR

Nathan Wade Carter is a poet, musician and artist living in Portland, Oregon. His poetry can be found most recently in Potluck Magazine and on InkNode. He writes and performs music under the name Purrbot. His music can be found on Bandcamp and Spotify. Find him online at

Sarah Dowling is the author of DOWN, Birds & Bees, and Security Posture, winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Selections from her work appear in I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women. Her critical work has appeared in American Quarterly, GLQ, Canadian Literature, Signs and elsewhere. Dowling is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

Rachel Zolf’s fifth book of poetry is Janey’s Arcadia (Coach House, Fall 2014), an aversive, conversive reckoning with the ongoing errors of Canadian settler-colonialism. Other publications include Neighbour Procedure (2010) and Human Resources (2007), which won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Among her many collaborations with other artists, she wrote the film The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture, directed by New York artist Josiah McElheny, which premiered at Art Basel Miami 2012. She has taught at The New School and the University of Calgary, and has recently returned to her hometown, Toronto.

by Nathan Wade Carter:


Do you bounce when thrown? Do you shatter like temperature?
Am I clear matter of some kind? Do I distort light and make rainbows?
Do I make this light or leaden?
Do I heave this cloud up like a bad hat?

by Sarah Dowling: 


Can you Can you Can you Can

I promise you If we talk and you know

But see

I don’t know if I

shouldn’t tell but if

I let you You can’t I’m talking Are you

I’m not lonely just Is it, Is it Say yes

or say no Cause I really Tell me are

you wet Oh

Boy Won’t you If you tell you know

that I shouldn’t let you but

If I let You can’t tell I’m proud I hope

I’m not Is it Is it Cause I really

Tell me are you that

somebody listen Cause I really Tell me are

you can’t

tell I’m talking if that’s

difficult I hope I’m not

lost just Say Is it Cause I really Tell me are you that

somebody Cause I really You can’t

tell I’m talking further


by Rachel Zolf: 


Infallible settlers say this is the latest season
they have known. All seed life seems somnolent,
yet a delicate suggestion of colour is at the tips
of the willows. An insidious, slow-moving process
is at work in the trees – one that spells from death
-car to drive more slowly unto drouth-world. The wine
of spring aflush on the face THE COPS- FIND- 2 J3<3
I H • ^ \ Hn is a Goad of Death Gourd of chanqts Takt
Life is totally totally lonely of Nature. Dearth is
the only reality we’ve got left in our nicey-nicey-

clean-ice-cream-tv scraps, so we’d better worship
the long wall of skulls next to the ball park. The delay
only whets our monstrosity. A unique beauty about
this pre-vernal landscape before it is screened
by red-brown colour, air and surface, semi-thick –
a boldness suggestive of how Janey and the rest
of the people witnessed the Italian primitifs
in ‘wild’ societies where the word ‘why’
can’t exist. With a minimum of means we
get a maximum of expression.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Allison Cobb & Jacqueline Waters, 8/16, 6:30 pm, IPRC

The Switch presents poets Allison Cobb and Jacqueline Waters.
When: Saturday, August 16, doors at 6 p.m., reading at 6:30 sharp. FREE Where: IPRC, 1001 SE Division St., Portland, OR

Jacqueline Waters is the author of One Sleeps the Other Doesn't (Ugly Duckling Presse) and A Minute without Danger (Adventures in Poetry). Recent poems have appeared in Fanzine, The American ReaderEveryday Genius and With+Stand. She edits The Physiocrats, a pamphlet press, and lives in Brooklyn.

Allison Cobb is the author of Born2 (Chax Press) about her hometown of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Green-Wood (Factory School) about a nineteenth-century cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Times called Green-Wood “a gorgeous, subtle, idiosyncratic gem.” She is at work on Plastic: an autobiography, a hybrid genre work, and a poetry manuscript called After we all died

by Jacqueline Waters


Ranchers lease land from the government
At very low rates
That do not make up for the money spent by the government
To manage the land for the ranchers
Each rancher goes to sleep with a blanket
It doesn’t stop there
Ranchers get sex in places we don’t know about
The sex is hot or good
The sex doesn’t stop there
Ranchers were so mad about 200 coyotes loose in their area
So the government said OK we’ll shoot them from helicopters
When the coyotes died it was OK
Because animals die all the time they are used to it
You like this cake I’ll cut you a slice
A sliver
It’s just a worthless sliver
If it were me I would be more circumspect about it
I would be less going on about it
I’d tear its branches off and act like I hadn’t thought about it
Decorate the tree half and shove it out there to sit

by Allison Cobb

The things you loved

I lived to haunt you. To ask
you to hold this oldest 
piece of human
DNA beneath
your tongue—it’s shit
dug up from wave-
cut caves in the Summer
Lake basin of Oregon, mixed
with red fox, wolf, coyote—animals they
ate or later came to pee
on their remains. Hold this and think   
the thing you love
the most what you most want
inside you, mixed in
with your excrement in fifteen
thousand years when someone
digs it up. Think
the thing you loved so much
you conjured it in labs to live
inside the flesh of every animal to saturate
your own well-fatted flanks, king
of all the creatures. So these
must be the names for things you loved
so much you peed on all the earth
and all its living things which you then ate
to concentrate its thickest dose inside
your pearl-white fat and rearrange your
DNA and gene expression: aldrin, dieldrin, DDT,
mirex, toxaphene, and TCDD. Heptachlor, hexa
-chlorobenzene, and the PCBs nestled in your
genes with you and chlordecone and the hexa
-chlorocyclohexanes. All
the things you loved.  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Maryrose Larkin & Anne Shaw, 5/24, 6 p.m., Hazel Room

The Switch presents poets Maryrose Larkin and Anne Shaw.
When: Saturday, May 24, 6 p.m. FREE
Where: The Hazel Room, 3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland

Maryrose Larkin lives in Portland, where she works as a freelance researcher. She is the author of Inverse (nine muses books, 2006), Whimsy Daybook 2007 (FLASH+CARD, 2006), The Book of Ocean (i.e. press, 2007), DARC (FLASH+CARD, 2009) and The name of this intersection is frost (Shearsman Books, 2010) Marrowing (Airfoil, 2010) and The Identification of Ghosts (Chax, 2013). Maryrose was a founder of Spare Room, a Portland-based writing collective, and is co-editor, with Sarah Mangold, of FLASH+CARD, a chapbook and ephemera poetry press. Maryrose received her MFA from Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School of Art. She keeps her friends close and her muses closer. 

Anne Shaw is the author of Dido in Winter (Persea 2014) and Undertow, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize (Persea 2007). Her poems and reviews have appeared in Harvard Review, Denver Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review, The Los Angeles Review, Barrow Street, and New American Writing. She has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and From the Fishouse. A graduate of Yale and George Mason University, Shaw is currently a student of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She and her pit bull enjoy scaring small children and eating chicken bones from under picnic tables.

by Maryrose Larkin
from cure fraction

the stranger

in the margins
soft & rooted

her ideas

as is her habit

her house 
has eaten me
& kept me in awe

by Anne Shaw

New Architecture


& therefore the windows in which you must move

through hallways or rooms, their jittery

comeuppance, their glossy tabletops. What is a standard


occupation. No, really, define this. Is it self-

reliance? Conduit or spoon? That scrubbrush

ain’t done with its teething, its ache for, its hot


mess. I too have spent whole ages under the kitchen sink

erect with your comings and goings, my bristles tuned

to the latchkey & playing your favorite song. But this is how the body fails


its rest. In my eyes there are tiny funnels. In my ear

there’s a small, gross space. Meantime the grasses. Lakelight.

Creatures in the dirt-mounds. Small things. Burrowing, shining.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Corina Copp & Mazarine Treyz, 4/9, 7 p.m., Hazel Room

The Switch presents Corina Copp from Brooklyn and Mazarine Treyz from Portland.

When: Wednesday, April 9, 7 p.m. FREE

Where: The Hazel Room, 3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland

Corina Copp is the author of The Green Ray (Ugly Duckling Presse, forthcoming fall 2014), and recent chapbooks ALL STOCK MUST GO (Shit Valley, Cambridge, UK 2014), Miracle Mare (Trafficker Press 2013), and Pro Magenta/Be Met (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011).

Writing can be found in Triple Canopy's Corrected Slogans: Reading and Writing Conceptualism, The Claudius App, Boston Review, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a three-part play, The Whole Tragedy of the Inability to Love, based on the works of Marguerite Duras. She is a curator at The Segue Foundation, and lives in Brooklyn.

Mazarine Treyz graduated Bard College with a degree in Gender Studies and Poetry. She later learned that in Saudi Arabia, poets lead revolutions and become kings. This is all in the tradition of Parmenides, but of course you already knew that.

After college, Treyz studied with Larry Fagin at The Poetry Project in NYC and published two poetry chapbooks: OK TO GO (2001) and The Faberge Wrecking Ball (2010).

Her other books include: The Wild Woman's Guide to Fundraising (2010), The Wild Woman's Guide to Social Media (2012), and Get the Job! Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide (2013).

By Corina Copp

excerpt from "The Flatbed":

I’ll guess at your resolve, it is about

Behavior. Might you unplug every

spasm each

day No matter to machinic

Speak, but hell, no matter the non-

Knowledge I live in baked Hyperion

Fear of. That hairdryer organized

Nothing toward my drinking per-

fume in telling it was your deus ex

careful watch. We police ourselves,

called revision.

By Mazarine Treyz


Frying on this rock

walking the shallows

small sandbar

in dark Maine

hawk above yellow field

milkweed pods

burst white blurs

gourds hanging out to dry

orange studded with cloves

third eye surgery

night dust

division vapor

in the backseat again

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Alli Warren & Lindsey Boldt 3/30 7:00 p.m. IPRC

The Switch will host two poets from San Francisco: Lindsey Boldt, author of Overboard, from Publication Studio of Portland, and Alli Warren, author of Warm Jets from City Lights Books.

When: Sunday, March 30, 7 p.m. FREE

Where: Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC), 1001 SE Division St., Portland

Lindsey Boldt is the author of Overboard (Publication Studio Portland) and the chapbooks, "Titties for Lindsey" and "Oh My, Hell Yes." She also writes and performs plays in the style of "Oakland Poetic Realism" with Steve Orth, with whom she also co-edits Summer BF Press. Lindsey works as a teaching artist in Bay Area public schools and is an editor with The Post-Apollo Press. She lives in Oakland, California.

Alli Warren is the author of Here Come the Warm Jets (City Lights Books) as well as numerous other chapbooks including Grindin (Lew Gallery), Acting Out (Editions Louis Wain), and Well-Meaning White Girl (Mitzvah Chaps). She edits the magazine Dreamboat and co-edits the Poetic Labor Project. Alli lives in Oakland.

By Lindsey Boldt

But did you really never eff up?
or did you remain ineffable?


Great job, thank God
Someone managed to evade it
I, unfortunately, effed up in my efforts
it seemed inescapable and almost effortless
like I and my friends would always
inevitably drop the F-bomb
everyone of us dropping these effing bombs
all day long

We were intelligent, aware, effete and effective
wearing good garments
listening to the other on KPFA
confronting our fears w/ culture
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa far better
than most fair folks
XXL-ent readers
but kind of always effing up somehow
trying too hard to be just ok.

By Alli Warren

walking slowly across the colony
cups on the lawn & a champagne cork
my favorite water storage district
the watery milk of established fact
who here thinks a woman is soft
who persists in entering
a mismanaged idea of linkage
the star system and hit parade
giving rhythm to the round dance
operational beyond its own syntax
dread-drenched in the backseat
meteorites strike the sky & the abyss
opening in four directions
the morning light never looked so
fourteen kinds of melancholy
& you think the ocean is a drift
they come in such numbers
open your eyes, blue

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Buuck, Spahr & Tran 2/20 8 p.m. IPRC

The Switch is thrilled to host David Buuck and Juliana Spahr reading from their collaborative book Army of Lovers just out from City Lights, along with Portland's own Stacey Tran.

When: Thursday, February 20, 8:00 pm FREE

Where: Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC), 1001 SE Division St., Portland

David Buuck lives in Oakland, CA. He is the founder of BARGE, the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, and co-founder and editor of Tripwire, a journal of poetics. He performs with Abby Crain's LOOK and teaches comp at Mills College and Bard College. An Army of Lovers, co-written with Juliana Spahr, is just out from City Lights, and SITE CITE CITY will be published by Futurepoem in 2014. Publications, writing & performance samples, and further info available via

Juliana Spahr edits the book series Chain Links with Jena Osman and the collectively funded Subpress with nineteen other people and just began editing Commune Editions with Jasper Bernes and Joshua Clover. With David Buuck she wrote Army of Lovers, a book about two friends who are writers in a time of war and ecological collapse and organized the one day symposium "Beyond Oakland." She has edited with Stephanie Young A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011), with Joan Retallack Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2006), and with Claudia Rankine American Women Poets in the 21st Century (Wesleyan U P, 2002). With Joshua Clover, she has twice organized somewhat free schools, the 95 cent Skool (summer of 2010) and the Durruti Free Skool (summer of 2011), written on politics, on manifestos, applied for a job at the Poetry Foundation, and organized, with Chris Chen too, the conference Poetry and/or Revolution.  

 Stacey Tran is an editor at the poetry press Poor Claudia with Drew Swenhaugen, Travis Meyer, Nick Van Eck, and co-editor of Pocket Notes with Travis Meyer, an online journal on process. She curated a sensory-based performance dinner with Jessalyn Wakefield, and is currently marketing coordinator at an architecture firm, and director of the non-profit urban platform Project Cityscope. Her most recently completed writing project is Scrim, a syntactic erasure of John Ashbery’s book, Three Poems. Currently, through Cityscope she is heading The New Structure (a series of presentations that explore architectures of the community, the urban fabric, environments, the poetic, the body, space, and the imagination), and with Travis Meyer is planning a discussion panel on perspectives of the evolving book object. She is a native of Portland, OR. Links: