Posts tagged: Dan Raphael

St. Johns Booksellers’ Market Day Poetry Series #5 with Tommy Gaffney, Ric Vrana and Astrid the Asteroid

Tommy Gaffney

Tommy Gaffney

“Such a sad day for all of us,” opined Tommy Gaffney, regarding the imminent departure of Astrid from Portland, in anticipation of which Splice Finders trundled down to his local St. Johns Booksellers to capture the August 15 installment of this weekly Market Day Poetry Series curated by Dan Raphael.  The series is running in conjunction with the recently-inaugurated St. Johns Farmers’ Market.

Despite this impending mutual loss, it was another good day for local poetry in North Portland, with Ric Vrana leading off this enjoyable noon event, and Tommy, holder of head thusly (as Ric lovingly points out), carrier of The Reading at Tony’s business cards, and with book for sale at the counter, working the middle innings.

Ric Vrana

Ric Vrana

A planner by trade, Ric comes prepared with “reserve” into which he must dip – in fact they’re all reading too fast, no doubt because this caffeine hour flies by in a room already full of words, augmented by supporters Patrick Bocarde, Mike G and David Matthews who’ve made the journey North from their close-to-the-city climes for this modest gathering – “No Subway in My City,” “Queens Return,” all of Ric’s pieces now graciously cyanotyped upon the blueprint of our market day commute. Tommy generously previews the blurry lucidity of his forthcoming Whiskey Days (Daze? – again, the surfeit of words) but it’s his “Larry The Cantankerous” and its iconic, yellow-tinged “abandoned glass of milk” that truly disturbs our diurnal Prussian blue reverie.

However it was the ephemeral Astrid, brandishing electronic keyboard – and the prospect of her mid-day performance under the fluorescence amidst cookbooks and pulp mysteries within distance magnifique de vibration – whose promised presence piqued les intrigues de ces heures cassées. Words, though, are only words, so to these words we’ve appended a recording of this happening.

Astrid the Asteroid

Astrid the Asteroid

While it is possible to fill any geographic realm with a plethora of words, it falls to the truly gifted to achieve a potent concentration of imagery, and in discussing same it is often best to enter the imagery itself into evidence: “Where has your electric eel gone?/ Grant me the right-of-way to private pockets/ Read me those crusty old stories with wide eyes/Opalescent women raise from the dead their intuition/With the desire to rupture the salad sea/Prance along as tiny mice living in the air.”  (Close enough for mass transit, anyway.) In a candid moment after the event Astrid enthused that this was a particularly good performance and that she was grateful that it had been recorded.  Would have been a shame to miss out; enjoy the podcast.

Nena

Nena

And here’s to more such events in the months to follow long after the farmers have brought the last of their bounty to the Plaza (N. Philadelphia at N. Lombard in St. Johns, Portland, Oregon).  Thanks to the performers, to Dan Raphael, and to Nena, the proprietor of St. Johns Booksellers.   The Market Day Poetry Series continues through September 26.

(This podcast is no longer available)

Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art #33

Eileen Elliott, Toni Partington and Constance Hall

Eileen Elliott, Toni Partington and Constance Hall

In changing, difficult times we lode our mothers and cling to our static, and these broken weeks are nothing if not changing, and cultish if not diffident.  You are reading this attentively, and we are grateful and starved for commitment.  While nicht nähernd the steady and inexorable keel of a cult, the ongoing series Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art once again extended its thermal-fleeced fingerlimbs northward to the region known as Vancouver, U.S.A. – the ‘Couve,  the “Ghost Town” implicit in Christopher Luna‘s observant munchings.  And veri-fiberly the invitation was extended pro looma towards Toni Partington, published in VoiceCatcher 3, Cascade Journal, NW Women’s Journal and others (her work, that is – not the humble invite from Show and Tell Gallery Productions).  Toni coaxed poet and award-winning artist Eileen Elliott and published writer/editor Constance Hall to turn a dreary late Winter evening into something of warm flickering ink and essence. Dalla memoria, nel carattere, Constance Hall shared from a prose poem drawn on her Sicilian family roots.  Eileen Elliott presented several elaborate pieces of visual art each varied in tone and texture and words to elaborate further the tale.  Then Toni Partington approached the accumulating ears with offerings from her upcoming poetry book, For the Love of Agnes, and other of her material that concluded with a poem for three voices, performed for the first time, all three writers onstage, Constance’s husband Steve Williams on bell; it was swell.

crashandbettycrop

The Crash and Betty Show

Another two-parter, a garter-grabbing, rabble-arousing combination free speech festival and Spring training wake, the Show and Tell Open Mic always follows 3FM:CA and the mixed metaphors long afterwards.  After a brazen plug for Oregon Society of Artists we were treated to three poems (including the poignant and aptly-titled “In My Dreams”) from Mike G (fresh off his first sick day in six years).  Darest the parenthetical wouldst overtake, we enjoyed a coupla musical ditties from The Crash and Betty Show, followed by more spoken sword face-offs, the first part/round the Dan (Raphael) and Walt (Curtis, also number five-and-a-half) show.

Walt Curtis

Walt Curtis

Steve Williams rejoined the party with a Christmas poem and spotted the Stick Man.  Despite the bench-clearing brawl outside his flat Wayne Flower had just written “He Is Cruel,” whereas Chad MD had come to a realization and stepped up to the plate with “Honey,” and Christian Kenseth had dug out three poems and chose to share them after all.  End of Part One.  Simon Diamond shared a poem (“Return to Exile”) and an anti-poem (“Poets of a Technocratic Dreamcoat”) (in two parts) (yes, it’s often necessary).  Nathan Reynolds also delighted wtih a couple of new and adorable toss-offs.  Reinhard Wilhelm (Benjamin Fisher) imparted a dialectic dilemna “for everyone who calls themself a poet.”  Rick J commanded a uneasy quietude in the course of indeed being a poet, delivering three difficult pieces in the stillness.  Dwight Peters championed “A Merry Cause” and disturbing “Expressions of Joy (Paintings of 1,000 Different (Moans?),” and  purported rain boots stepped through the sharp distance tracing tears through “Sun, Salt, Sand and Time” with some guy’s rib (indeed there must be purpose in pain).  In extra innings, Garret Potter and “The Ambassador of Truth” (just a rectum his anger), off respective stints in the Texas farm system swing at the vacant space bubbles.  “There’s No Difference,” we’re told.  Viva le manque de différence!  Why did we stick around this late, then?

Oh, yeah, in order to record every at-bat for the podcast, naturally.  Watch out for the roadkill when you pass through here at the podcast home field advantage.  And peering over the DRM fence, waiting for one to fly out of the park, part and parcel of our spoken World Series, one of our biggest fans, iTunes chomps on a link, bun and relish the feed:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=295435461

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