Matthew Rotando and Simone WhiteSaturday, May 31, 2008 ** 4PM SHARP**
at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, just north of Houston)
$6 admission goes to support the readers
hosted by erica kaufman & Tim Peterson
Matthew Rotando’s first book of poems, The Comeback’s Exoskeleton, (with a foreward by Tim Peterson) is available from Upset Press. He is a member of POG, a collective of artists and poets in Tucson, Arizona. Rotando received his MFA from Brooklyn College and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arizona.
“Story of Learning”
After I learned the language, I learned it well. Then went down to the lake. I said, “Hey, Pond, you got rabbit-congress, how about witch go seventeen something something?” Pond said, “Man, the language is not like that. You better learn.” So I learned. I learned and learned. Then said to Old Man Killer Whale, “Nice for this mine, your thermos mine, your brown interval mine, your Viggo Mortenson.” Killer Wheel said, “Not far enough yet, son. But if you study, your own reward will be that you studied.” Shivering and shaking, I studied and learned. I learned hand and by hand and hand stealing and victim-focused learning. Then I met Wall Of Dogs. Wall said, “You look like another dog for me.” I said, “Yes, cylinder and me talking—like night fighting—and yes or same project makes blame, the astrolabe, wicca, not chancy chancy, all these marriages end in more desire.” Wall Of Dogs spoke, and said, “Only that last bit showed some learning.” So I made the Walking Wall my right side master, learned something else on my left and in my front I wished for a gymnastics container. I said, “I’ve learned. This old language in mine, and easy now. I have it for naming and knowing and learning.” Then Hey Pond, Old Killer Whale Man, and Dog Wall said, “Ho! Ho! Pond Consonant Boy, look at you, handclapping for bottles and vowels and cans!”Simone White, a Cave Canem fellow, is the author of a collaborative chapbook in conversation with the paintings of Kim Thomas (forthcoming from Q Avenue Press). Currently a doctoral student in English at CUNY Graduate Center, she lives in Brooklyn.
“Poem That Reminds Me of Barack Obama”
Ice house, not original with me, marooned on an ice plateau,
phantom. Were I captured, rendered elsewhere pictorially,
some other grey flake of building would be like
an erotics of long-headed men,
which are, like suburbs, not independently epic.
Cavalcade of the long-headed man,
turf one so wants to lie down on,
like a basketball star is an aggregate of longings to fly or be multiple, raceless selves,
like angels, like abstraction itself,
nonetheless like the awesome black cock we always imagined and coveted,
like, “The tricks I could do with a new eye pencil!”,
like, “A husband like hers erases neutrality.”
And what about grasses, blades of grass?
Like a fact no one has use for, these have no manner
unlike difficulty, like things I won’t talk about.
Like a scratched off part of my face.