Mark Wallace, K. Lorraine Graham, Lisa Cooper, January 31, 2009. 7:00 P.M., The Drawing Studio, 33 S. 6th Ave., Tucson, AZ
Mark Wallace is the author of a number of books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and criticism. Temporary Worker Rides A Subway won the 2002 Gertrude Stein Poetry Award and was published by Green Integer Books. He is the author of a multi-genre work, Haze, and a novel, Dead Carnival. His critical articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, and along with Steven Marks, he edited Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the 1990s (University of Alabama Press), a collection of 26 essays by different writers. Most recently he has published a collection of tales, Walking Dreams, and a book of poems, Felonies of Illusion. He teaches at California State University San Marcos.
New indecision’s breakdown backdrop
won’t let me go to the store beside
a terminal discrepancy, I love you
and you love power and I become power
but really specifically, like a dollar bill
or a lost loaf of bread. Total hand
carries itself, bricks say to walls.
Sugar’s a good combustible head end.
Do you like poets or being one
earned refuge, check out those shacks.
Should we do Survival Island
and stake an emblem? Flustered.
Call a shift to not be home
under a renegade special effect.
It’s exactly not to be barking about
all the mud in the honey. Some silence
just ain’t worth its hogwash.
- Mark Wallace
K. Lorraine Graham is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of Terminal Humming, forthcoming from Edge Books in 2009. She is also the author of several chapbooks, including Large Waves to Large Obstacles, forthcoming from Take Home Project. Her poetry, critical writing, and visual art have appeared or is forthcoming in Traffic, Area Sneaks, Foursquare and elsewhere. A limited-edition CD of her work called Moving Walkways is available from Narrowhouse Recordings. She lives in southern California with her partner Mark Wallace and Lester Young, a pacific parrotlet.
from SEE IT EVERYWHERE
"Oh, Hi!" he said, happy and startled. Then, he stared into ceiling space without speaking.
I introduced myself to the woman next to me. "Hello," I said enthusiastically. "I am likely to never see you again."
The wealthy community by the sea is far enough off the highway to be difficult to get to but still defined by the highway.
I ask if they have any mastic. Mastic, she says, is an Arabic thing. I say yes, I know, I want to use it in pudding, and you have a sign that says "Yes! We have MASTIC!"
Mention the rain. Your carnations are probably from here. A cousin of your friend was shot in the head by her boyfriend.
The male finch notes us and calls to the hatchlings. You're a car and I'm a goat. He pauses. A child is a strange thing to want. That's a nice person, we don't say that. I told my students the joke about the chicken and the road, and they stared at me. "I see," said one. "The question is strange but the answer is serious. It is funny."
Hugs which avoid direct breast contact, how my favorite people encourage a kind of social weirdness in me. Strong feelings of being a turnip.
When you leave your bearable job and intelligent, creative, attractive lover, remember that there really isn't anything better than this. This is all that there is, always.
It's important to not believe in a lamp burning for you or anyone in a window somewhere. I know that no one will call me home.
- K. Lorraine Graham
A near-native resident of Tucson, Lisa Cooper is a poet, editor and a massage therapist. A collection of poetry entitled & Calling It Home was published by Chax Press in 1998. In addition she has two chapbooks—The Ballad in Memory and Tilt Rail. Her poems have been published in numerous journals, including Sonora Review, Spork, Hambone, Blue Mesa Review, Logodaedalus and 6ix. Recent poems appear in EOAGH (#4) and on the Invisible City website, a multi-genre improvisatory collaboration in Tucson examining art-making in public spaces. She has received an Arizona Commission on the Arts Fellowship and the Sonora Review Poetry Prize.
we walked out on the sidewalk, a kingdom of ants
a sprig of rosemary & every plant a favorite member of the family
my foot, my book & my subterranean mist
how did we get so tired?
my shoulder is a common piece of the surrounding terrain, wedged into a dress
tuck— tucker— is it time to cross yet?
at 5 a.m. music can seem especially loud—
this has merit!
otherwise I can pay someone: 5 pennies now, 5 later & 5 to get to heaven
tick-tock!— got loose!— gone fishin’…
your legend got too big, distinguished as a courtyard office—
I’m telling you at these speeds it seems to handle rather well—
& after dinner I’ll say it again:
now we’ll play this little game of chase
in which your word is tiger paw, mine is sugar
& none is never be redeemed
- Lisa Cooper