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  • From: Ken Rumble <rumblek AT>
  • To: Desert City List <desertcity AT>
  • Subject: [DesertCity] This Saturday, Feb 19th: Cole Swensen & Chris Vitiello
  • Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 15:10:16 -0500

Please spread far and wide.........

Who: Cole Swensen, Finalist for the 2004 National Book Award in Poetry for her book _Goest_, author of 9 other collections of poetry, translator of some of the best of contemporary French poetry, a faculty member at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, also famous for building a life-size model of Big Ben out of America Online CDs.

Who: Chris Vitiello, author of _Nouns Swarm a Verb_, survivor of the Lucipo roadshow, rumored to be the head of a theatre group whose existence is itself rumored to be a rumor.

What: Desert City Poetry Series, when you care to hear the very best.

When: This Saturday, February 19th, 8:00pm, 2005.

Where: Internationalist Books, 405 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Why: "I've / always / wanted / said the painter // and so he did" "Am I supposed to write that it rained? // One, two, three, four, five, six // What rained?"

See you there.......

Next Month Two Readings:

March 19th: Tara Rebele & Brian Henry
March 26th: Kent Johnson & Patrick Herron

*Internationalist Books:

*Desert City Poetry Series:

*Cole Swensen:

*Chris Vitiello:

Contact the DCPS: Ken Rumble, director:
rumblek at bellsouth dot net

by Cole Swensen



The guard peers closely
at the painting. Count.

The fingers. The figures. The
strange sweep from waist

to chest to head. His hand reaches out
within a second of


She sweeps upward. Up
to where the gold sky might

What would the touch
if it did not first

run up against
a man who is in the end a man


She touched the painting
as soon as the guard

turned his back. Respond.
I said turn around. I

screamed, I drowned, I
thought you were home.

I touched the surface of the canvas.
It was I, the sound of salt. And fell
and is still falling through a silent earth.



A deep red in the sky that has nothing
to do with the season but quiets

Outside drinking coffee and wine and watching.
Look, he's speaking, leaning over to his

Look how the lines around his eyes and mouth.
Fleet. Part. What of that. Replies.


She crosses the square in a bright red coat.
Look how they look at her, look up

from their talking. There is no thought
here of leaving. There is no thought.

There are people crossing the square
arm in arm, in threes and fours and alone in great numbers.


Joseph Albers, THE INTERACTION OF COLOR, 1975. I've heard
that no one is ever repeated or ever precisely named.

She took the coat off the peg.
Even to herself, she said it was her own.

She crosses the square on her way home.
She will not stop at a cafe, she will not talk, she will just go home.



The minute progressions between grey and black
becoming one against the red that stares back.

Because she knows they are watching, she will not turn around.
Home is a sound repeated to solid, to something that will hold.

Look, there goes a man with his left hand left lightly
on the head of his child. There they go.


In the painting, all the reaching hands are growing.
In the gallery, everything was green and gold and red

Made the sun, though deep, cut through:
Within the door was a window; within the window, a jar.

Inside the jar, carefully there, the love need not be
assigned in order to fix and ignite.


She had to cross the square in order to get home.
She was one. And one by one, they looked up and watched.

When the guard turned around, the gesture was gone.
A woman stood back and said no.

She stood back, looking at the painting and said isn't it fine
that a woman wearing red could arrive at a gold sky. Remind.
Or else in falling. And nothing broke. The rift
shifts open the devout. A finger that exceeded number, a

from _Irresponsibility_
by Chris Vitiello

Late November into early December 2004
Shenandoah, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Springfield, VA
Washington, DC
Durham, NC

Grackles bathe where the drainage
terminates // Typical pull // Pulling so into
// Between
the low Winter Sun and me
Before the low Winter Sun, their splashes

He leaf-blows in church clothes

There really are grackles

Grackles splash a fray
in the drain divot pool behind
which the Sun sets // Position makes this
appearance // Giving
up is never correct
The whitespace goes negative // Choice of negation
Event-specific sets of by what
The oak leaves appear brassy
Undoing aperçu

The grate has sunken askew // Here’s why // Gerunds
are now
That school addition is unornamented and, in backlit


Iris and Gracie console imaginary horses
A storm threatens // They argue
beneath a lopsided oak
Win it word by word is problematic
Carriage returns

Cadiot: I will do something to someone
The school building rear
looks like a factory contains
also is a factory // Is
Not an implication but a container
His behavior appears portioned and metaphorical
to me as
if he thinks he is being read
A container contained by what it contains
What’s in Firdos Square now?
Argument is the game
Grackles bathe and drink in
a drainage pool
Winter Sun setting linear behind
These 2 things, but 1 thing

Making an argument is a surface

Exploitation instructs

This coat does nothing

I know that the dogwood is completely red though I cannot see
it from here

Arafat’s dead // So’s Michelle

“What’s different now?”
versus “Can it be unwritten?”
Only the parts of his body move that
he needs to // He does 1 thing
Miles Davis: “Paraphernalia”

The grackles, the water, their splashing, the sunlight
through the splashing
I’m in the plenum too
Iris and Gracie try the swings again
is experience-determined duration
This book is set in 12-point type
I wonder if I’m still alive

The container, the surface, the contents, the
whitespace, the characteristics, the durations attached to these
Hocquard: Does writing allow someone to see better?
And the words, obviously
Pursuit is pushing and we have
those 2 words // Little gravelly hill
is one way of saying
little gravelly hill
Thank you Hocquard
Once demarcated, how different should/could the items be?
He makes shit and carbon-dioxide

The saturated soil sank so unintentional berm

(As I write this) Iris tells Theresa to say “No, no it isn’t”
// Theresa says it
Geometric equipment and what isn’t?
Cobra is a system not a composition
Albiach: would their word be transmitted

That lopsided oak likely lost its crown in ice storms
Vicki and I married and Rabin was assassinated
Iris guesses pronunciation at vowels
A signal is a sub-signal < This with this
or this without this

Returning to the grackles is
different from returning to Firdos Square // One symmetry
displaces another
Royet-Journoud: eye pursues its prey / shelters behind
another phrase
The Fallujah offensive is replay and slow-motion
at here // Bettis’s subtlety
Is it information or does it contain information?
Evie’s rectangle

The coverage of the taxi explosion
shows the exploded taxi

Until she gets it right

Nothing elapses at now

Vicki calls from earlier in time

The cartoons did their jobs and were declared heroes

The magical rain brings the tree to life

Neither vacuum nor plenum is a negation

I’m getting tough // Poetry is invisible

The red dogwood leaves hang directly at the ground
in angled clusters around the base of the
nude depleted buds

The Periodic Table lapses into abominations
One name is as good as another
Amber’s detachment
Minimal and essential, snakes
The projector completely blocks the light source
between each frame
Nothing’s haphazard and I don’t expect
the dots to be connected // Iris says
“The pinks almost rhyme”

Snakes do
not elaborate
Sunset is a lie

By naming the suspension of judgment you
are missing the point
There were no single grackles // The understood it
Grackles is singular

Each dogwood leaf is mottled with blacks, browns,
and reds // Veins
are yellowish implies the green they were in Spring
White, dried blotch perimeters
Lack of end-punctuation is a characteristic //
Characteristic has of
I agree they’re red

They were probably starlings
It turns out
The noun is a process

I can see three flags from here
Her remote control trees all on the same frequency
Devendra Banhart: “Nice People…”
One thing is not any thing

Vicki moved and everything moved // Vicki moved everything

  • [DesertCity] This Saturday, Feb 19th: Cole Swensen & Chris Vitiello, Ken Rumble, 02/15/2005

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