On 17. 12. 2017 Dimitris Lyacos, Michel Volkovitch & Jason Stoneking, beginning at 19hr, will read new & old works at Tennessee Bar 2 rue Andre Mazet 75006 Paris France.
For more information on these writers check the links below.
For more information on these writers check the links below.
Jason Stoneking is an American poet, essayist, and performing artist based primarily in Paris. He has authored two volumes of poetry and four collections of essays. He has also written screenplays and rock music, moonlighted as a chess commentator, and staged numerous performance art pieces. He has been performing his art and writing for more than 25 years, at venues ranging from the main stage at Lollapalooza to the Pont Neuf in Paris and the rooftops of Cairo. He is currently working on a series of unique, handwritten, bespoke books. He is awestruck by the sky, but skeptical of authority.
I was sitting on the quai the other day, in the sunshine of a summer afternoon, watching the beautiful Parisians arrive along the Seine with their picnic baskets and bottles of wine. I was basking, feeling peaceful, digging the warmth of the sun on my face and the magic sensation of being sustained and nurtured by the universe. But then it hit me. The light of day itself is the blinding illusion, the thing that fosters all our silly, self-important human arrogance. When darkness falls, it may be harder to see some things, but it’s easier to see the great big truth in the sky: how small we all really are in the grand scheme of things. In the daytime, it looks very much like there is one tremendous sun that hovers in the sky just for us, keeping an eye on our health by making sure we have just enough warmth and light, like the keeper of a delicate flower bed. But at night, we become tiny, helpless, insignificant. We can suddenly see that there are hundreds of thousands of suns, that the entirety of what we know about accounts for a submicroscopic portion of what’s really going on out there. Most of us don’t like the sound of that, so we simply try to pretend it’s not happening. We devise euphemistic ways to discuss the majesty of the night sky. We think of stars as objects of romantic mystery, and we charge the poets with dreaming about what they mean and turning them into inspirational lyrics about the greatness of the little human thoughts that flutter around down here on earth. But then we must try not to notice that this task is actually killing the fucking poets. It’s making them dive screaming from the bridges and drown themselves in absinthe. It’s making them thrust their weary heads into ovens and pray for the refreshing disorientation of syphilis. It’s making them convert to disgustingly small comforts on their deathbeds just to assuage the ferocious terror of cosmic irrelevance. When the sun comes up again, it’s like a momentary reprieve, a phone call from the governor that comes just as we’re being marched down the windowless hallway of time. It whitewashes all the insinuations that had danced so cruelly between the constellations just hours before. It gives us another day to erect the pretension that we’re all in the middle of amounting to something. But then, in the evening, it’s time to get a drink, time to close the curtains, time to take your psych-meds and curl up with a book. Prepare yourself for what’s coming. Stare at the tv and convince yourself it’s still daytime if you can. Luckily, if you’ve got a halfway decent job, they usually don’t expect you to work at night. Most people aren’t expected to even function. They are expected to sleep. And those who are up and about are traditionally found in the nightclubs and bars, busy with the work of steeping themselves in cheaply distilled intoxicants.
It is said that depression and suicide rates soar in the arctic winter, when there are months of uninterrupted darkness, and that makes perfect sense to me. How could there not be an outbreak of existential panic? What with everybody getting such a good long look at the uncomfortable size and scope of things. Maybe that’s why most of us prefer to close up shop at night and go to sleep until the daylight returns. We can’t stand too much exposure to that thing of which the night gives us a vague but harrowing sense. It’s the thing that sends the bears into slumber for the darkest months, the thing that the crickets are crying about, the thing that blinded the bats, the wisdom that the wise old owl knows: that we are all tumbling headlong through space, and the light keeps going on and off, and nobody’s controlling the switch.
Dimitris Lyacos is the author of the Poena Damni trilogy (Z213: EXIT, With the People from the Bridge, The First Death). The text in its current form developed as a work-in-progress over the course of thirty years with subsequent editions and excerpts appearing in journals around the world, as well as in dialogue with a diverse range of sister projects it inspired—drama, contemporary dance, video art, sculpture installations, photography, opera, and contemporary music. So far translated into seven languages and performed worldwide, Poena Damni is one of the major examples of postmodern literature in the new millennium and the most widely reviewed and best-selling Greek literary work in translation of the past decades. The second English edition of Z213: EXIT appeared last year while the second English edition of The First Death and a new French translation came out last month.
Translated by Shorsha Sullivan. Second Revised Edition, Shoestring Press 2016.
A few hours more, station, deserted, a dirt road leading into the town, mud, mud, blankets outside, mouldering corrugated houses, the shattered pylon further behind, not even a car, rubbish, two children setting fire to a heap, two or three other fires on the horizon, houses, the smell even more acid, tarmac pieces and pieces, concrete block houses, few people, half-open doors, half-light, the mattress as if it were soaked, that milk, the cramp in the stomach and dizziness, when I awoke, I hurried to make it before it got dark, a little by chance and from what I remembered, asked questions, the other side, back to the bridge, murmur of water, trees turning black but I could still see, it was in front of me almost as soon as I entered. What are you doing here, sit for a while beside you, if you could also back then, did someone bend over, hear you while still you were heard, your eyes that were gleaming, eyes growing dim, pain growing dim, with how many more did they bring you, the bell, silence as they lowered you down, stifled song and a pause, murmur of water. I am cold, I walk away through other names, photos that look at you and yet they cannot, the sun now again at its end. On the road back, on the plain, a tepid, breath, like the last, and a gleam, the river falling behind, the town mute as before, with some wine on the end of a table, the Bible being erased, between its pages the words of a stranger, among his pieces I write wherever I find a no-man’s land.
“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
I was born among the bodies. I was hurried
forward, and sealed a thin life for myself.
I have shortened my name, and walk with
a limp. I place pebbles in milk and offer
them to my children when there is nothing
else. We can not live on cold blood alone.
In a dream, I am ungendered, and the moon
is just the moon having a thought of itself.
I am a wolf masked in the scent of its prey
and I am driven—hawk like—to the dark
center of things. I have grasped my eager
heart in my own talons. I am made of fire,
and all fire passes through me. I am made
of smoke and all smoke passes through me.
Now the bodies are just calcified gravity,
built up and broken down over the years.
Somewhere there are phantoms having their
own funerals over and over again. The same
scene for centuries. The same moon rolling
down the gutter of the same sky. Somewhere
they place a door at the beginning of a field
and call it property. Somewhere, a tired man
won’t let go of his dead wife’s hand. God
is a performing artist working only with
light and stone. Death is just a child come to
take us by the hand, and lead us gently away.
Fear is the paralyzing agent, the viper that
swallows us living and whole. And the devil,
wears a crooked badge, multiplies everything
by three. You—my dark friend. And me.
(as featured on Poets.org)
On November 3, 2017 Andrew Spragg will read from his new book, Now Too How Soon with Poets Live.
Andrew Spragg was born in London and lives there. He has written for Bonafide, His Eros, The Quietus and PN Review. Recent books include Tether//Replica (Spiralbound / Susan Press, 2015), OBJECTS (Red Ceiling Press, 2014), A Treatise on Disaster (Contraband Books, 2013) and To Blart & Kid (Like This Press, 2013). On November 3, 2017 Andrew Spragg will read from his new book, Now Too How Soon with Poets Live
A tour on the surface, rise to the water,
skirting an edge and talking to things.
Curl in a summary and commencing leg work,
finding a connection to ply with another
despite it, ever, the little hands and paces
walking forever, until the surface –
The First Cemetery of Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue (1656-1833 )
inside chinatown’s thigh
near the edge of st. james’ cross
by oliver street
& described as “OUTSIDE the CITY”
lies a dark acre of nameless tombstones
a sweet & sacrilegious monument to judaism
consecrated in 1656
cornered by brick
& bridged by steel & clay
the ashes of ashes the dust of dust on this cold & dismal ash wednesday.
a triangle of empty benches
the prickly wild berry trees
lining the black wrought iron
some secret inside the tombs
the vacant geometric forms
so worn & final resting “en un espacio pequeno y solemne
para Shearith Israel”
a remnant of a prayer for the souls
of the wandering dead
who now repose
in god’s new world.
Steve Dalachinsky nyc 3/4/81=20 THE SCHMOOZE
For more info’:
Robert Peake is a British-American poet living near London. His full-length collection The Knowledge is now available from Nine Arches Press. His previous short collections include The Silence Teacher (Poetry Salzburg, 2013) and Human Shade (Lost Horse Press, 2011).
Robert grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border, in the small desert farming town of El Centro, California. He studied poetry at the University of California, Berkeley and in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at Pacific University, Oregon.
His poems have appeared in a wide range of journals and anthologies including North American Review, Poetry International, Iota, Magma Poetry, Acumen, and The North. Robert’s essays and reviews have appeared in Poetry International, the Chicago Sun-Times online, and The Huffington Post. His own website consistently ranks as a top poetry blog.
Robert’s poems have received commendations in the Rattle Poetry Prize, the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Contest, the 2007 James Hearst Poetry Prize, the 2009 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the 2013 Troubadour International Poetry Prize, and three Pushcart Prize nominations.
Since relocating to England with his wife, Valerie and cat, Miranda in 2011, Robert has given a variety of readings in the UK. He also created the Transatlantic Poetry reading series to bring poets from both sides of the Atlantic together for live online poetry readings, and also built poet.tips–a crowd-sourced poetry recommendation website.
Robert offers one-to-one feedback and support through the UK Poetry Society Poetry Surgeries programme for the Hertfordshire area.
-from a mis-translated line by Pablo Neruda
They fill the stream with dashes,
clot in dark collections by the bank,
a clutch of minnows sprayed
into life, like torpedoes
from a pregnant submarine.
And I am born unto them,
child of the sardine, goldfish,
pollywog—whatever can swim
in a thimble, dodge change
flipped into a fountain
I am not the son
of the marlin, the sturgeon—
the sunfish, around whom
jellyfish revolve like planets.
The smallest of fish
is sufficient to be my mother.
I am from this line of stream-
swimmers, gulf-swimmers, fish
at the mercy of eddies
and wakes, schooling together,
and bursting apart, confusion
and numbers our only defence,
this line, this arc—
through a shaft of light—
I call them “family” and
“comrades,” call them
my fish, small fish, birth-right.