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Subject: Desert City Poetry Series

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  • From: Ken Rumble <rumblek AT>
  • To: Desert City List <desertcity AT>
  • Subject: [DesertCity] Cunningham & Joseph This Saturday, October 8th, 8pm @ Internationalist Books
  • Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:38:47 -0400

Please spread far and wide....

Who: Brent Cunningham, author of _Bird & Forest_, founder of the Poets' Theatre Jamboree, Small Press Distribution shaker & mover, knows how to say "eclipse" in 17 languages including English.

Who: Tessa Joseph, editor of the _Carolina Quarterly_, doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill, former student of A. R. Ammons, can wield ostrich feathers with wild abandon.

What: Desert City Poetry Series, first of two October readings because Oh my gosh they're all so good.

When: This Saturday, October 8th, 8pm, 2005.

Where: Internationalist Books, 405 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC, everything else is somewhere else.

How much: $2 donation requested to support the series & the readers.

Why: "Language doesn't become strange by torturing it" "She will love you until you are sticky. / She will drink all your schnapps. // She will drop you. She will / kiss your eyes. She will make you a poet."

See you there...

Upcoming readings:

October 22nd, 8pm: John Taggart & Randall Williams

November 12th, 8pm: Sarah Manguso & Julian Semilian

*Internationalist Books:

*Desert City Poetry Series:

*Brent Cunningham:

*Tessa Joseph:

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

The Desert City is supported by grants from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Orange County Arts Commission.

"Evening at the Hotel de Sade"
by Brent Cunningham

The fear of death pervades us, I declared, plunging my knife into the table

Don’t make me laugh, Robert replied. Make you? Shall we say lead me in that direction. You jest. Strangely not. Then you underestimate me.

My dear Robert, said Robert (for we were both named Robert), you must admit that within this narrow blink of existence it is common to mark our singularity with such drama as you just exhibited; in short, for all that, we’re animals.

The very idea turns my stomach, I replied. Does it? It does indeed. Please go on, for your position fascinates me.

I did not hesitate to go on, but spoke at such extraordinary length I lost my faith of concluding. My friend, I concluded, you may wonder how life is for me.

Less and less, said Robert. In general? Au contraire. But I’m an exceedingly curious case. My dear Robert!

Does it not interest you, I remarked, that I go from city to city, chased by dogs, denying the most apparent truths imaginable?

I have specific information, said Robert, that you have never been chased by

Swelling with confidence and vigour, I rose to respond, only to discover that twenty Roberts now swam in front of my eyes. My legs gave out; the roast overturned. Dimly I heard Lucy rushing down the stairs, impossibly free of her ropes...

"Walking around the ruin"
by Tessa Joseph

There are no more movers No more
filing in and out Packing in layers of wax

Start with the housefire

that jerked its leg in your throat Start with that

saltstained river which was both enough
and not enough to move you That door

open on a kitchen, burning oil you could smell

Start with the houses you’ve wanted that you haven’t had

Their smokeshriveled doors Heatbucking floorboards
Ghosts of windows where windows are gone

A crowd on a green and dripping barge We were in procession

Through the buoyed stones Slate walkway Blue front door

There was a stone mantel. We always kept things on the stairs.

Two feet Slap the water One instant Perfect

There were twenty five windows
We paid for them
Paid for them Put them there

Not like eyes Not like anything
but windows
Like quarries, spiked deep No

There were twenty-five windows
A shelf of little boxes
We filled them Or not I saw

it happen I saw each box hinge
on flame

Small archaeology, this cellar: tins of morphine tool-hung wall
ancient chessgame

And the details, tiny pictures, curving voices map the last of the passages
Tell me how it is there What it is like

I visit the river every day and it too is small, too small

A house is the space the size of the word it is lamp and street and bread and rooster
and also wider, having

wider arms

  • [DesertCity] Cunningham & Joseph This Saturday, October 8th, 8pm @ Internationalist Books, Ken Rumble, 10/04/2005

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