Sunday, September 27, 2009

October Sunday Kind of Love With Emily Warn and Randall Horton

Sunday, October 18, 2009, 4 – 6 pm
Busboys & Poets, 14th and V Streets, Washington, DC, (202) 387-7638, info [at]
Sponsored by Busboys and Poets and Split This Rock
Featuring Randall Horton and Emily Warn.
Hosted by Katy Richey and Sarah Browning. Open mike follows. Admission is free with donation.

Randall Horton, originally from Birmingham, Alabama, resides in Albany, New York and is a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize. His poetry manuscript The Definition of Place was a finalist for the Main Street Rag Book Award and was published in their Editor’s Select Series in 2006. Main Street Rag is also publishing his second book, The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street, in September 2009. Randall is the current editor of Reverie: Midwest African American Literature and co-editor of Fingernails Across the Chalkboard Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDs from the Black Diaspora (Third World Press, 2007). Randall is also a Cave Canem fellow. Most recently his poems, fiction and nonfiction appear in the following anthologies and journals: Motif: Writing by Ear, Mosaic, Black Renaissance, Crab Orchard Review and The Red Clay Review. Randall teaches at the University of New Haven and is poetry editor of Willow Books.

Marvin Gaye Sings National Anthem at the NBA all-star Game

Life should be so easy as a boy
on swing set thrusting both feet forward, pulling
his face through a breeze, or

to be curled in a lover's arm listening to river swirls'
meditation. War rages against
this lean silk in the spotlight.

Oh how to articulate the madness except
through a drum machine, distant family member
to the djembe-

an electronic beat tingles the ear hole.
Now layer sensation with voice smooth
as hot silver flowing into half-dollars,

brighter than a thousand camera flashes,
& the mirrored shades gleaming
is for others to reflect themselves.

Oh the fork tongue whispering
knows the five-spots festering Southeast DC, has seen
14th Street's hollowed buildings

in a state of rigor-mortis from the 60s: a construct
of crumbling brick structures
held by aging plyboard.

A moon of narcotic drains slowly from the nostrils,
bone bright-numb
as if this may be the apocalypse.

Oh they have chosen a troubled man
to signify Old Glory, which unfurls
if nothing but faithfully.

From The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street, September 2009, Main Street Rag Press, Charlotte, NC. Used by Permission.

Emily Warn is a poet, essayist, teacher, and technologist who most recently served as founding editor of Born in San Francisco and raised in Michigan, she is the author of three books of poetry: The Leaf Path (1982), The Novice Insomniac (1996) and Shadow Architect (2008). Her essays and poems appear widely, including in Poetry, BookForum, Blackbird, Parabola, The Seattle Times, and The Writers’ Almanac. Emily taught creative writing at Lynchburg College and The Bush School, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She currently divides her time between Seattle and Twisp, Washington.

Elijah's Babble

After my rendition in the cave,
they engraved my name in a pink granite star

on Hollywood Boulevard. People mill about.
I swore fame was someone else's story.

Cameras flash. Some touch my gold letters,
a gravestone in any other setting.

Dizzy and Thelonius said without speaking a word.
Their riffs stopped taxis, got people to tapping

and listening, forgetting their business.
I'm proof that words travel to jazz's galaxy.

Not any words, words that labor where no one speak.
I squandered nights in whiskey bars,

lapped milk that widows left for starving cats,
wandered streets until I could hear what is not;

not the earthquake that sets old clocks and hearts ticking,
not the firestorms that smoked all summer,

not the wind snapping power lines, leaving us in the dark,
but the sound of God almost breathing.

From Shadow Architect, Copper Canyon, 2008. Used by Permission.

NEXT: Sunday, November 15, 4 pm
Luis Alberto Ambroggio, Tara Betts, and Yvette Neisser Moreno!

No comments: