Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Saturday, August 8: Tolbert & Gray

The Switch is proud to announce a reading from Anastacia Renee Tolbert, and Portland’s own Robert Duncan Gray.

When: Saturday, August 8, doors at 7 pm, reading at 7:30 sharp. FREE 

Where: IPRC, 1001, SE Division, PDX

Anastacia Renee Tolbert is a queer super-shero of color moonlighting as a writer, performance artist and creative writing workshop facilitator. She has received awards and fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Jacks Straw, Ragdale and Artist Trust. She was recently selected as the 2015-16 poet-in-residence at Hugo House, a place for writers in Seattle. Her Chapbook 26, recently published by Dancing Girl Press, is an abbreviated alphabet expression of the lower and uppercase lives of women and girls. A Pushcart nominee (2015), her poetry, fiction & nonfiction have been published widely. Recently Tolbert has been expanding her creative repertoire into the field of visual art, and has exhibited her painting and photography surrounding the body as a polarized place of both the private and political. This year she has begun a yearlong theatrical mixed-media project in collaboration with the Project Room, 9 Ounces: A One Woman Show: Lately she’s been obsessed with the body & the stories (true & not true) it holds.

RDG.jpgRobert Duncan Gray is an English artist currently living in Portland, OR. He is the author of Ticklish Animal (Bone Tax Press) and Immaculate/The Rhododendron and Camellia Year Book (1966) (forthcoming from University of Hell Press). He makes music under the name COLDGOLDCHAIN and recently self-released a cassette tape called READY2bWRONG. He curates and hosts a monthly reading series called À reading.

by Anastacia Renee Tolbert

Poem Excerpts

Memoir (lost chapter)

this memoir has a secret compartment where the dog decides he does not want his biscuits, does not want to bone, cannot keep his shit in one pile.  this part of the memoir you thought you went green on & recycled & you know some things have bigger foot prints than others, you know this print is all fingers & ligaments. you know this part of the memoir has something to do with why your bones ache in june, why you tell that calendar it is not talking to you & that circle is just is just a place mark for consensus & the start of summer stay-cation.

Memoir (8)

this memoir’s pages are taped together with lilo & stitch band aids. it talks about the things you tell your children didn’t happen: (a) you did not get a sister (b) your mother did not carry her to full 1.term (c) your father did not sit by your mothers side after your sister died. (d) the doctors said your non-sister who was not born was an 2. anomaly. (e) your mother has one ovary, one fallopian tube & a folded other fallopian tube. period.
  1. luna died in your second term of school. you & your brother spring broke your bodies bending to kiss me. saying mom we are so sorry we did not know. we did not know we are so sorry. sorry. we. did. not. know. & how could you know being a black boy in foreign country with the weight of the world plus divorce on your blades is all did not plus know.
  2. luna lived inside a wounded heart & womb for five months. you mother was completely did not & no.

by Robert Duncan Gray


I pretty much love Everything
But Fuck all the men Driving cars
Through the stop signs of the world

Take me south of the Mouth
In chair position crooning
Flexing pizza muscle Western style

What say You to the sickness
Of the Cosmos             Yes
Or No

Worried I'm a Yes man
The perfect emoticon
Matthew said I disappear'd

Explain to me the crime of poverty

Asking for too many buttons
Wrong thing I get But question
Where              I'm smiling

Are the dead ones tonight
Pigeon faced in the slop

It's time to up The moon

The moon isn't hiding It's out
Soak air plant Sunday
Do you speak To your hunger

In the mirror                I am
Pushing myself into Love Lake               You

Can't keep

A good Horse
Out of church

I was not born
To write poems

Having been Numbed
By the beauty
I put the book down

Pick it back up
The dough In hell
Is rising

The dogs of Joy are walking
Foreign graveyards
Abandon the space

Inside body
King of dumb
Pain in bed

Am I sick Because I deserve
But the Sun The clock
And feast

I kiss my own
Miss the New
And quickly Carcass my grief