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 clich├ęs 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.