Thursday, January 10, 2008
at the Kelly Writers House presents:
a reading and discussion with poets
DOROTHEA LASKY & MATTHEW ROHRER
Thursday, 1/17/08 at 6PM
3805 Locust Walk
This event is free & open to the public
DOROTHEA LASKY was born in St. Louis, MO in 1978. Her first full-length collection, "AWE," has just come out this fall of from Wave Books. She is the author of three chapbooks: "The Hatmaker's Wife" (Braincase Press, 2006), "Art" (H_NGM_N Press, 2005), and "Alphabets and Portraits" (Anchorite Press, 2004). Her poems have appeared in Crowd, 6x6, Boston Review, Delmar, Filter, Knock, Drill, Lungfull!, and Carve, among others. Currently, she lives in Philadelphia, where she studies education at the University of Pennsylvania and co-edits the Katalanche Press chapbook series, along with the poet Michael Carr. She is a graduate of the M.F.A. program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and also has been educated at Harvard University and Washington University.
Whatever you paid for that sweater, it was worth it
(from AWE, by Dorothea Lasky)
Be scared of yourself
The real self
Is very scary.
It is a man
But more importantly
The man is tall
And is everything in you that is an absolute reverse of all your actions
In you he will do things and in you no one will know the difference
Still the honey and the herb, the bright lights.
The piece of fiscal fish, the lemons,
The blank above with stars will praise you
But he, he puts his legs over frail women
And tries to get to the thing they won’t give up.
Just as true loneliness gets to the very real thing in you
Scary or not, is part man for all it is wanting and can’t get
To the place where it has married woman, it sits
In a sea of lemons, its tail dragged bloody across the floor.
Still, here I do not speak of mutilation.
The real self is not muddy, it is pure
Still here it is a thing of murder
The self comes off itself and murders the woman in its path
Her skirts effortlessly careening back there up into the stars.
MATTHEW ROHRER is the author of "A Green Light" (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of "Satellite" (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of "Nice Hat. Thanks." (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD "Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty." He has appeared on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "The Next Big Thing." His first book, "A Hummock in the Malookas" was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches in the undergraduate writing program at NYU.
venus waning/apollo waxing his car
(from A HUMMOCK IN THE MALOOKAS, by Matthew Rohrer)
Then there was the night I decided that if I ignored everyone
I would transcend,
so I covered my ears with my hands,
stepped off the porch and rose like a wet crow
and the sprinklers chattered to each other over the fences.
And "How long will you be gone?" my neighbor called nervously,
my neighbor whose saw I had borrowed,
and "Come down right now!" my landlord called out,
climbing to the roof of his Cadillac to reach me
as he got smaller and smaller.
And there I was with the stars hanging above my house like live wires
and the night sky the color of stockings.
I stuck out my tongue to taste the sky
but could not taste.
I inhaled deeply
but could not smell.
I used to look to the sky for comfort
and now there was nothing, not even a seam,
and I looked down and saw that it did not even reach the ground.
And my only company was the satellites counting their sleep
and the Sorrowful Mother swinging her empty dipper in the darkness,
the Sorrowful Mother picking her way through the stars over my roof.
And I knew I was nowhere and if I ever took my hands from my ears
I would fall.