Information about the Desert City Poetry Series, contemporary poetry & poetics, and poetry readings & events in central North Carolina.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

January Reading Wrap-up

The hits keep coming as they say.

Another great reading by Standard, Marcos, & Rachel -- thanks to the three of you; thanks to Todd & Laura for hosting another great Blue Door, and Tanya for a great reading there; thanks to Kathryn for helping so much to make it all happend; thanks to everyone that came.

Check out Marcus Slease's notes and pictures from the evening. Thanks, Marcus.

Next month: February 19th: Cole Swensen & Chris Vitiello.

Also: January 29th, 8pm, Pane & Vino, Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC:
The Lucifer Poetics Group.

Below is the introduction I gave for the readers. As usual, minor revisions were made at the scene:

Standard Schaefer, Marcos Canteli, & Rachel Price Intro

1. Announcements and welcome
a. Tonight: the Blue Door w/ Tanya Olson.
b. Friday, January 21st, there will be a reading in Durham hosted by Tanya Olson – get details from Tanya
c. Saturday, January 29th, at 8pm, the Lucipo Group will read across the street at Pane & Vino
d. Saturday, February 19th, at 8pm, Cole Swensen & Chris Vitiello reading here at the Internationalist.

2. Welcome
a. Thanks for coming
b. introduce yourself
c. The Desert City is a non-profit, volunteer organization, please make a contribution in the back to help us keep going and support the poets.
d. Sign up sheet in the back for more info and announcements about the Desert City.

3. Thank yous
a. Internationalist
b. Standard, Marcos, & Rachel
c. all of you
d. Kathryn

4. Tonight, though, we’re here to see Standard, Marcos, & Rachel.

5. “azoradas / imagenes fijas // cobran un punto de claridad sobre la nieve / al reunirlo todo /// cuando se ajustan incluso mis / ojos lo advierten: luz sombra fisicamente / enrejadas // esta atencion / del cuerpo / ensambla lo mirado” writes Marcos Canteli in “pespuntes” which is dedicated to the great American poet Robert Creeley. Or as Rachel Price has translated the poem, called “Backstitches” in English: “astonished / frozen images // assume a pointed clarity on the snow / gathering all together /// when they adjust even my eyes / take notice: light shadow physically / latticed // this bodily / attention / assembles the seen.”
6. Marcos Canteli has had an eventful few weeks recently: he passed his graduate school preliminary exams at Duke, he got married (congratulations), and his third collection of poetry Su Sombrio was awarded the Ciudad de Burgos award, one of Spain’s premiere literary prizes.
7. With Rachel Price, Canteli has been working on translating his work into English. Tonight we are lucky enough to hear both the Spanish and English versions of the poems.
8. Canteli and Price met at Duke where she is also in graduate school. Price is pursuing her doctorate in the Literature Program and just yesterday finished her own preliminary exams. In addition to translating Canteli’s poems, she is working on a translation of the Brazilian poet Francisco Alvim. Her translations or poems and short stories and her own critical essays have been published in magazines and journals including the American Poetry Web.
9. Like those of Robert Creeley to whom “Backstitches” is dedicated, Canteli’s poems “assemble the seen” through “bodily attention.” The world of the self that is felt and the world of the other that is seen are connected by a mirrored physicality. He writes further in “Backstitches”: “that an air arise in the exterior on par with / this lung / the fall a cross / of eyes and ears as it fades.” The thread, the stitches, is thought: “the skin / lit up, its creases seared in / thought.”
10. The persona of these poems is an explorer, a searcher who opens layers of ambiguity. He writes “Morning and night I would hear birds to find myself trembling in the road with the corpses of the smallest of animals.” Later, in “Morning: Hintz Road” he writes “or the faces / on the sidewalks, they say we were once / like that was there / another morning like this one? your / anorak comes suddenly to me / or mine / on your body.”
11. Knowledge is concrete in these poems; while the mind ponders, events unfurl despite the mind’s grasp or lack of the significance. He writes “a traffic / of images that would come to be / real not here but on / their way, doubling / that time / when the real perhaps may be only / that time.”
12. The bind, finally, is that between the delicate images that Canteli suspends within these poems he writes “Passing into breathing I understand that my place is this gathered skin, exempt from words.”
13. Please welcome Marcos Canteli and Rachel Price.

14. “After an evening spent splitting quarks to quills, one solitary oval grew weary and slipped his fingers between the covers of a crude and common book.”
15. Standard Schaefer is not an oval, though he splits quarks to quills in his poems.
16. “The angel of history is the power to retaliate, possibly to disappear / if even into little sweaters stitched for birds, but I’m sorry to disturb you - / I thought we might share this – nothing to lose except our conundrums.”
17. Standard Schaefer is the author of Nova, which was a National Poetry Series selection, and Water & Power, which is forthcoming for Agincourt Press, both of which revel, in fact, in piling conundrum on top of conundrum.
18. “syllables whistle / decimals escalate / refuse to be partient or have anything to do with still or silt / on sideways afternoons in a vacant republic while letters float through the slit in the crown but end at concrete and crickets / as they collide in the cortext / where an alphabet begs to go on”
19. Standard Schaefer works as an independent journalist, contributing regularly to; he works as a teacher of creative writing and also as the non-fiction editor of the New Review of Literature; his syllables do, in fact, whistle and will collide in the cortext.
20. “a fugue state where figuration is saturated and not a big dark carpet / but a satellite of blue becoming a habit / of sight // while, we, like satellites / orbit the other side of the broom / a kind of vindication against science, / and its secret, immutable ballet.”
21. Standard Schaefer served as the editor of the literary magazines Ribot and Rhizome; his poems have appeared in Fence, New American Writing,and Aufgabe; his poems are, in fact, an immutable ballet in which the company is composed of characters derived from an intellect that rarely lacks something in which to find interest.
22. “The impossibility of giants and generals in the same room, much less the same man.”
23. Standard Schaefer lives in San Francisco with his wife, Paris, and their two beagles; his poems prove the possibility of giants and generals, astronomers and starlets, historians and alcoholics, Bacon and Beckett.
24. “it’s never too soon or early to begin”
25. So we shall begin now.
26. Please welcome Standard Schaefer.


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