The Magic Circle series returns to GainVille Café Friday, June 28 as we begin our 11th year (!) of poetry and music in Rutherford. Our poetry feature will be MARY MA, author of the chapbook Windows, Mirrors. Mary is a disabled, queer, non-binary writer and educator and a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Poet’s’ poetry workshop.
Our musical guest will be guitarist ACOUSTIC APOTHECARY JOE DELGIODICE, who has played in our open many times and in the Tribe of Uncles.
Also featuring the Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic. A $9 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert.
If you were 22, newly married, uniformed, and ready to ship out with your unit but found yourself under a clean white sheet coughing up TB blood, then rehabbing with your bride at your bedside in a slim skirt and fuck-me pumps, her photo in the wallet you meant to take with you to the front, the one of her with her dark wavy hair swooped up off her forehead, wrapped in a snood at the nape, a gardenia behind her ear like Billie,
you might feel the living’s guilt when three quarters of that bonded unit was killed right off the boat ramp.
You might think you were always lucky and you’d have been the heads side of that coin flip to see who goes and dies, or stays and lives.
You might believe, having tricked death once with TB, that you could stay in that good grace by selling life after death in your three funeral homes, where a body is brought to look natural again, where the family would pay someone to take its bones back to earth.
You might hope that the grieving living would never forget you, your vividly empathetic eyes, your sudden chivalrous gestures as if to save a swaying vase from shattering on the floor, like when you bolted from a chair to grab a tissue and dab a mourner’s eye with the familiarity of kin.
You might wish to hear everyone who crowded your wake and gravesite proclaim their love and recount their particular memory of your kindnesses, as if they knew how carefully you placed their dead on the porcelain table with a drain at one end, how you patted their hands after massaging the blood out, preserved their modesty with a white sheet.
As if they knew you saw each car-wrecked body that came to you as a boy from off the battlefield, uniform in tatters, whose smashed-up face and bloodied hands must be restored.
It’s a small state but there’s room. Make room. Bring a map to your desk and get to work:
Run a red marker over all the parking lots you purged in. Black top tucked behind restaurants and schools. Sometimes you’d stay in the driver’s seat until you found a trash can. Cross out the trash cans and dumpsters on the main stretch of town.
Tear away the town where you were raped and the town where your rapist lives. Be careful with the latter or you may tear your own town, too.
Be gentle, the state looks smaller.
Take a pencil and circle the spaces you can survive.
Circle every place you tried to sleep when you couldn’t go home. Mall parking lots, pharmacy parking lots, coffee shops, bleachers.
Erase that last one. Cross the bleachers out instead. They remind you of your stalker. Note the driveway where he jumped inside your moving car.
Don’t forget the Petco where your ex’s twin brother works. All you know is one of them called you a whore. One of them didn’t want you to work with other men, but you can’t tell them apart so assume both are dangerous. Go ahead and cross out Route 17.
Move your home away from the tear on the page and try again.
There are new malls here. New restaurants. New streets. You don’t really need to use parking lots any more.
For the sublime month of June, the Gang of Five is excited to feature Bridget Sprouls, an enchanting poet of great talent and expertise.
Please join us on Wednesday June 5th, 2019, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford NJ to hear Bridget.
About our feature:
Many poets these days are praised for building their own unique universes. And, in this age of extremely high standards, when every poet is expected to strive toward a wholly original, mature and inimitable vision, this praise is often not without merit. Bridget Sprouls takes universe-building to another level. Like gorgeously-detailed fractal panoramas, her virtuoso poetry contains not one but countless universes, not only on a book level, or on a poem level, but sometimes in every line. Never sacrificing authenticity, sincerity, or no-bullshit directness, her poems take the audience into sometimes-unexplored yet profoundly recognizable worlds that are always worth delving into and sometimes worth inhabiting indefinitely. Sprouls’ debut collection The Remaining Yearsmarks the arrival of an important new voice into the poetic Anglosphere.
Please note: We must now pay $100 per month rent for the use the Williams Center for our readings. This is in addition to the $100 per month rent the Red Wheelbarrow workshop must pay for the use of their space in the Williams Center.
We need your help to survive and continue to hold our monthly readings. We will be asking for donations. A $5 per person donation is suggested. If we all contribute, we can pay the rent!
ELECTRIC POETRY AND MUSIC, ANTON YAKOVLEV’S BOOK LAUNCH AT GAINVILLE
The Magic Circle series returns to GainVille Café Friday on May 31, celebrating the beginning of summer. ANTON YAKOVLEV will be launching his latest book of poetry, “Chronos Dines Alone.” Among his many accomplishments, Anton is the 2018 winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize. Musical feature will be THE ELECTRIC POET GATHERING with GEORGE PERENY. George will have both music and poetry on tap.
Also featuring the Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic. Hosted by the poet Mark Fogarty.
A $9 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert. 7 PM, GainVille Café, 17 Ames Avenue, Rutherford. 201-507-1800.
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