John High 27. 8. 2017


27. 8. 2017 John HighHélène Cardona and Antonia Alexandra Klimenko will read new works from their new poetry books. Reading will begin 19hr at The Tennessee Bar

A recipient of four Fulbright Fellowships, John High has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (fiction and translation), the Witter Bynner Foundation, and Arts International. He is a former member of the Moscow Club Poetry and a founding editor of Five Fingers Review. Poet, translator, Zen monk—he has written ten books, including the novel, The Desire Notebooks. vanishing acts is the fourth volume in the interconnected series of poetry collections following here, a book of unknowing, and you are everything you are not. His translations of contemporary Russian poetry include books by Nina Iskrenko, Ivan Zhdanov, and Aleksei Parshchikov; he is the chief editor for Crossing Centuries—The New Generation in Russian Poetry. His translations of Osip Mandelstam have appeared in The Nation, Fulcrum, Denver Quarterly, Pen America, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Poetry. Recent readings include Istanbul, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Hangzhou, Venice, and New York. Recent work has appeared in Verse, New American Writing, The Brooklyn Rail, Ugly Duckling Presse (6×6), Brooklyn Paramount, Poems by Sunday, Visceral Brooklyn, Conjunctions, Poetry Northwest, and Paris Lit Up. Poems from this four-book series have been translated into French and Russian for the Paris Ivy Series and The St. Petersburg literary journal, Kreshchatik. He has taught creative writing and literature in Moscow, Istanbul, Hangzhou, and San Francisco, and currently directs the MFA Creative Writing Program at LIU Brooklyn.


​​​​​​(Day 25. “Chao Chao Asks About Death,” ​​​​​​​Book of SerenityKoan#63)

The boy stumbled over the words catching himself in weeds as sounds of laughter flew up from the circus & onto hills & into sentences & over soda pops & all about these vanishing acts into a feeling of you just you, not so easy—go easy, go easy man because syllables get stuck in places of beginning & ending & movies she gestures forth—go forth go forth—& all this while eyeing a horse & a saddle & a clock by the tents & jugglers, painted faces, fire swillers swallowers star gazers & what a carnival, what a night, right, & what, just what are these things these 10,000 things these blurrings & visitations of things seen in an eye of a blind artist or if not in each turning & churning & birding of clowns & merry go rounds & fleeting moments fleeting language itself not so unfullfilled yet hesitant, you touch the handles of her bicycle—hesitant & why hesitant when this wala wala boom boom hooray you say can hour the clock & clean the sock, hour the wow & heal the cow, hour the freedom & green or yellow or fusia balloons going up up up & balls in the air, all up in the air yes all up in the air & meaning—there you have it—shooting out of all these magic rabbits & hankies you pull from a hat

Hélène Cardona 27. 8. 2017

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27. 8. 2017 Hélène Cardona, John High, and Antonia Alexandra Klimenko will read new works from their new poetry books. Reading will begin 19hr at The Tennessee Bar

Hélène Cardona was born in Paris and raised all over Europe before settling in the US. She earned her MA in American literature from the Sorbonne, where she wrote her thesis on Henry James. She is the author of 6 books, more recently the bilingual collections Life in Suspension, called “a vivid self-portrait as scholar, seer and muse” by John Ashbery, and Dreaming My Animal Selves, described by David Mason as “liminal, mystical and other-worldly.” Cardona’s luminous poetry, hailed as visionary by Richard Wilbur, explores consciousness, the power of place, and ancestral roots. It is poetry of alchemy and healing, a gateway to the unconscious and the dream world.

Her translations include Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac), winner of a Hemingway Grant; Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux); Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for WhitmanWeb, and Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona).

Acting credits include Chocolat, Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hundred-Foot Journey, etc. For Serendipity, she co-wrote with Peter Chelsom & Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang.

Dappled with transparent imagery, like the Mediterranean sunlight she grew up with, Hélène Cardona’s poems offer a vivid self-portrait as scholar, seer and muse.
—John Ashbery



To Kitty, Who Loved the Sea and Somerset Maugham
                                For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
                                It’s always ourselves we find in the sea 
                                                                      ―E.E. Cummings

The angel who smells of my childhood
My mother, piano and oboe
Whose face the icon reflects
Auburn hair like a Modigliani
Eyes the color of rain
Light caught by surprise
Whose presence the absence reveals
Whose laughter burns snow
Whose warm breath I breathed
This morning as I woke
The scent of gardenias whispering
I never left you
From Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016)
First published in Poems Dead and Undead (Everyman’s Library)


À Kitty, qui aimait la mer et Somerset Maugham
                                      Car quoi qu’on perde (comme un toi ou un moi)
                                      C’est toujours soi que dans la mer on retrouvera
                                                                         ―E.E. Cummings
L’ange aux senteurs de mon enfance
Ma mère, piano et hautbois
Dont le visage se reflète sur l’icône
Cheveux auburn, tel un Modigliani
Les yeux couleur de pluie
Volée par la lumière
Et son absence qui ravive sa présence
Son rire qui enflamme la neige
Son souffle chaud que je respire encore
Et ce matin au réveil
Le parfum des gardénias qui murmurent
Je ne t’ai jamais quittée
De La Vie Suspendue (Salmon Poetry, 2016)

8. 27. 2017 Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

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27. 8. 2017 Hélène Cardona, John High, and Antonia Alexandra Klimenko will read from their new poetry books. Reading will begin 19hr at The Tennessee Bar

Antonia Alexandra Klimenko was first introduced on the BBC and to the literary world by the legendary Tambimuttu of Poetry London–-publisher of T.S. Eliot, Henry Miller and Bob Dylan, to name a few. After his death, it was his friend the late great Kathleen Raine who took an interest in her writing and encouraged her to publish. Although her manuscript was orphaned upon “Tambi” s passing, her poems and correspondence have been included in his Special Collections at Northwestern University. A former San Francisco Poetry Slam Champion, Klimenko is widely published. Her work has appeared in (among others) XXI Century World Literature (in which she represents France) The Poet”s Quest for God Anthology, CounterPunch, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology,  The Rumpus, Levure Litteraire, Paris Lit Up, Knot Magazine, Big Bridge, The Opiate, Writing for Peace, Strangers in Paris—New Writing Inspired by the City of Light, Occupy Poets’ Anthology (in which she is distinguished as an American Poet), and Maintenant : Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art archived at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She is the Writer/Poet in Residence for SpokenWord Paris.

excerpt from Heart’s Compass


Dark knows we are afraid of it

wants only to be loved

I swallow it

as I do my tears

I kiss it

like I drink in air

I stuff the shame of guilt

back into my horizon

praying that light will find me


I am the cavity of Paris

that lovers once poured into–

my heart a weeping sieve

Deep inside myself

inside the shadows I cannot contain-

statues and monuments to the dead–

a whole city of shimmering possibility

rises as smoke above a skyline of ancient syllables

quivering on the tip of my tongue


The pallbearer of my own dead poems

bereft of words, divine direction or

a satin box to lay my aching compass

I drift

alone in the dark

alone with you and the breath of Winter

erased by a night that forgives





Merci Beaucoup to all the poets that joined us this season. Merci, merci, merci beaucoup to the venues that hosted us Berkeley Books Of Paris, L’Openbach and Tennessee Bar. It’s been an inspiring season. Poets Live is now on vacation until Septembre 2017. Off to indulge in ancient writers yoga until then.
((((((( Have An Inspiring Summer )))))))

25 juin 2017 Lara Stapleton


25.6/2017 Lara Stapleton, Bruce Edward Sherfield, Ana Seferović & Kirsty Allison will be reading @ Tennessee – Paris 12, rue André Mazet 75006 Paris (France)

Lara Stapleton is the author of The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing, a Pen Open Book Committee Selection and an Independent Booksellers’ Selection. Her poetry, essays, and stories have been published in dozens of periodical, including the LA Review of Books, Ms. Magazine, and Glimmer Train. She co-edited two anthologies, Thirdest World (Factory School) and 25 Very Good Stories (Soft Skull Press). She is now at work on a television project about antebellum New Orleans. Born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan to a Filipino and Irish-American family, New York City is now her home.

Excerpt from new work:

“My friends have become brilliant with insult. They speak of his hands and his urine stream. They call him demoralizer-in-chief, cretinous. They are finding obscure terms from the Norman rule of England, these are writers, after all. They call him the Performance Artist, they pun with words for ass and bowels. They mock his hair and his orange tan and his butt-mouth and his penis. 19-kinds of stupid, and bad smelling. They notice he’s made his daughter first lady (an abuser never wants to honor his wife). They mock his small vocabulary. We are appalled, indignant. We are more of a we…everyone on my social media says “we” meaning all of us who think this is wrong, every shade of us. We like the CIA better than we used to. We think Nike and Coke, those flesh-eating monsters, with their multi-culti commercials, are on our side. Alliances in a game of thrones are anything but noble, they are only cunning.”


25/06/2017 Bruce Sherfield

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25.6/2017 Bruce Edward Sherfield , Ana Seferović & Kirsty Allison will be reading @ Tennessee – Paris 12, rue André Mazet 75006 Paris (France)

I’ve always been an UFA, an unidentified flying artist, dividing my career between dance, acting, songwriting, rap, composing, collage, voiceover, and his biggest passion: the written word.

I have a BFA(Biggest Fluke of ALL?) from the University of FLorida in collage, painting and performance.

I’ve done the music thing with bands like Spontane, Versus and Sophia Lorenians, at many festivals like Rock-en-Seine, GaroRock, even the TV show One Shot Not. Too many albums to count right now…

3-time co-editor/designer of the Bastille Lit Magazine of SpokenWord Paris, and co-host of a weekly writing workshop at Shakespeare & Co. since 2011.

In 2014, I gave my voice to the documentary, ìVoyage en Barbarieî which won numerous international awards, including the Albert Londres.

In 2015, I taught poetry/slam/hip-hop to young writers for the US Embassies in the Congo, Senegal and Niger.

In 2016, he was invited to Conques to give an art-therapy workshop against the trauma of torture.

He collects typewriters and donates them to kids and writers and his first sci-fi novel is almost dans la boite!


One Soldier’s Logistics of Trenches

(counts his breaths)
“One day,” a soldier says to his mates, “a man invented this soap but it didn’t work so well. After you washed your hands, the blood was still there. So this man invented a special shampoo that made lots of suds. It smelled so nice as it seeped through your skull, as it cleaned out the mind and whatever happened to be on that mind at the time. It seemed to make a difference.”

(Shovels and bowls are passed out)
“A real difference,” he continued. “It washed away the sound of bones opening, the far cast on bloated faces, the loss of undergarments, and remember I told you that nice aroma the shampoo had? Well, that aroma also could dry up a trickle of bile, calm a heaving stomach, or deafen the spray of cholera hitting the bucket.”

(Crouches. Finds a man’s billfold.)
“One could lose count of the bodies, strewn like wet leaves in a park, half-frozen neighbors no longer of any concern. This shampoo was more than fantastic. It worked like a miracle—lack of recognition of a friend, Ah! This is the baker, who’d put warm bread in everyone’s hand. It’s funny. That same bread is now in some corporal’s belly. You see, I can’t recall the baker’s name, but I still smell the dough, though. Tell me if you find his arms.”

(pats down a mound)
(rinses face in ice-cold cistern)
(Shares towel with the others)

“Use it in the day, but sparingly,” he said. “Share the magic! We dig and burn again tonight.”

25/6/2017 Ana Seferović


 25.6/2017 Ana Seferović, Kirsty Allison & Bruce Sherfield will be reading @ Tennessee – Paris 12, rue André Mazet 75006 Paris (France)

Ana Seferović, Belgrde born writer, has written three collections of poetry: Duboki kontinent (Deep Continent – Matica Srpska, 2000), Beskrajna zabava (Endless Entertainment – Narodna knjiga, 2004) and Zvezda od prah-šećera (A Star Made of Icing Sugar – Association of Writers and Translators Pančevo, 2012).

Her poetry has been translated and published in many languages.

2015 saw the publication of her collaborative poetry book The City (published by Auropolis) with English poet Alice Maddicott and The Travelogue of The Car Boot Museum (published by Somerset Art Works).

She is also the co-author of two published and staged plays.

She is involved with international web-based poetry platforms as one of the editors of and Dirty Confetti and is currently engaged in numerous cross-over art projects in collaboration with various musicians and visual artists.

She lives in London.

“I am a writer and a textual artist, with a long history both in performing my texts and finding ways how to materialise them in a space and in different audio/visual media.
Writing comes first and then thoughts about what does it mean to read/perform a text, to exhibit a text, to connect with the audience in a space and what are the ways I can capture images and sounds that a text is creating leading from contemporary text and video/sound layers to the roots of ritual and magical power of integral unity of the word, sound and vision.”


From the manuscript “Mothers”

first you would hear the
metal garden gates
a loud bang
and then her high-heels
smashing the concrete
with the power of a CEO
causing a tight mixture
of anticipation, anxiety and
a weird feeling of guilt

for no obvious reason-

mummy is home

with suitcases full of
sweets for children
and nicely packed
stories for grown ups

oh those mothers
oh mothers mothers

tough blondes in charge
of surface mining
of men digging
/he is alive, he is well,
he is inside
earning, producing/

mothers not interested
in children
producing children
producing clean sheet,
serving food

serving entertainment

there was no entertainment
no entertainment

once she was offered a
house in a holy land
she refused it
she didn’t want to live there
she said it was too flat and
there was no birds

flat pancake of the holy land

no not for me sir

she also said that in some
countries, where she was
on her business trips
there was no cotton pants

you had to wait for your
turn to buy them

with your bare bottom?
children would ask chuckling

and that in another place
women had the longest legs
she had ever seen
and they were drinking
for a medial
smashing their long bony knees
on old cobbled streets

she tried eels
and frogs
and snakes and jelly
like desserts
drank martinis
and black russians
and white russians

and fly airplanes

where lunches were nicely
packed in a plastic tray

(she would always bring little
satchels of sugar and salt
and plastic cutlery with the
logo of the airline home)

and that in some places she
was followed by an agent
who would tell her if she

had gone too far

you always have to go too far
to understand
the cold drinks
the cold war
brown drink cabinets

we all went too far

( that morning on her 37th
birthday she looked at
herself in the mirror
and finally understood
that weird expression
on her mother’s face
she noticed as a child:

I observed her from her window;
she was thin
always looking like a
girl from a faraway
good bone structure
people would say

now in her memory, it
was always sunset
roofs tops and tree tops
sinking slowly into the
sticky apricot sunset jam
everything was just
floating there

and her mother
floating there too



smoking like those cowboys on
horses riding off into the horizon
smoking like those french stars
in their convertibles, curving
above the mediterranean
smoking like a free woman
lingering in a bar, ready
for some new loving
like a secret agent

like bond, james bond

that was how she looked to her
puffing those hours
and hours away
floating in warm sunsets
but her weird expression
was always a mystery
until that morning, when she
saw her own face in the mirror:
swollen eyes, endless boredom.

yes, that’s it!

her mother was bored.
and that was a special kind
of elaborate boredom
boredom of a factory
worker who decided he would
stay forever in a factory
he didn’t like
who decided that every
day would be the same and
not quite satisfactory
but that every day
would be familiar
and that was good enough
not the boredom one feels
when there is nothing to do
this was boredom where
everything was boring
the very essence of her
universe was boring
this apricot sunset
just materialised
reassuring boredom

she understood her
mother’s face now
and she loved her
more than ever

around the place where
she was smoking
a circle of cigarette buds
was spreading like
an upside down halo
like a little stage
waiting for her to come back
and conduct yet another
magnificent sunset of thrills