Soundings: Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet

prairiefire

Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet: John Lehman, Robin Chapman, Richard Roe, Shoshauna Shy

Coffee Spew had a front row seat at Avol’s Books in Madison on March 12 for a reading by the members of the Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet: John Lehman, Robin Chapman, Richard Roe, and Shoshauna Shy. The night was dubbed Stage Left in honor of John Lehman’s new chapbook, Acting Lessons, recently published by the University of Wisconsin’s Parallel Press.

Enjoy these audio clips of the evening:

*

Abundance / Robin Chapman

Yes, write of it, here right now,
in the middle of winter, snow
pock-marked with tracks
of squirrels and the backyard rabbit,
mice that spiral the long grass
into nests, the pair of cardinals
who own the house and all the trees
surrounding it, the raccoon family
from the water drain at the end
of the block (their eyes gleam
through the sewer grate on cold
night walks) who stop on their own
nightly rounds to pour the feeder seed
down their throats, the housefinches
from the front porchlight, heads
soaked in berry-red, foraging leftovers,
the chickadees dry and two-note calling
in the arborvitae, finishing off from a claw
the single sunflower seed that each
takes to a branch: we are wealthy,
wealthy in the black oil of seed, the gold
of cracked corn, the brushy thickets
of security from cats, the abundant lives
of our neighbors.

From Abundance (Cider Press, 2009). Other books by Robin Chapman include Smoke and Strong Whiskey (WordTech Communications, 2008), and The Dreamer Who Counted the Dead (WordTech Communications, 2007). Her website is Robin Chapman’s Poem a Day.

*

Invisible Men with X-Ray Eyes / John Lehman

Last night I heard the whistle of a distant train.
Today instead of going to work, I walk down
a block to talk with the garbage man who is
waiting inside his truck for the drizzle to let up.
It’s not one of those two-story, Frankenstein
giants with weightlifter arms that hoists trash
over its head to dump it with a grunt, but a
sports car-sleek garbage truck, flaunting sort-
at-the-curb bins that are politically correct. I’ve
the urge to break away from my life for a while.
And sometimes in the rain, strange alliances
are made.

At the next stop the driver shows me how to
lift a can—most are plastic now—and deposit
its bags of spilling guts, then swing it ‘round
and grab another to a banging beat. I put my
feet on the running board, he shifts the gears
and when he brakes, I play it solo. I catch the
rhythm. He nods. Garbage men are not the stuff
of TV shows, but that’s their mystique. They are
everywhere, unnoticed, but aware of everything.
From magazines we read to hair we’ve lost,
to the degree that our discarded underwear
is frayed.

They are anthropologists studying a world we
furnish with debris. They smell our smells, taste
what we taste, feel the cans and boxes that
contain the food that shapes our shapes. And
here’s my house
. What waste our lives become.
Once I was in an experimental drama. Tom,
a mid-level accountant, and I played hobos. He
needed a release from the minutia of the “day
by day.” To prepare for our roles we went to the
freight yard. I was chicken, but he hopped into
the open yellow boxcar of a slow-moving train.
I never saw Tom again.

From Acting Lessons (Parallel Press, 2008). Other books by John Lehman include Shorts: 101 Brief Poems of Wonder and Surprise (Zelda Wilde Publishing, 2005) and Dogs Dream of Running (Salmon Run Press, 2001). His website is Cool Plums.

*

First Lesson / Richard Roe

Imagine the tallest tree in a forest
and you looking past clouds and mountain peaks.
Grip like a hawk and breathe until you sense
the tree’s roots, trunk’s length, the sap
rising, and push off. Feel the top of your skull
pulled by a taut string into sky’s depths,
you shushing the wind; laugh in short bursts.
Fall and rise, ride to the knife-sharp edge of a draft,
giving the ride voice, calling you, you, and we
to anyone who could listen.

Believe you have a third eye, a space
sound rushes to like water from a pump.
Release that sound and draw lip-crisped
air past your teeth, form your abdomen
like the roundest of hills. Push your midriff
at the hard wood of your backbone, release,
letting an egg rest on your tongue
like the hollow space of a nest.
This is your sound. You are ready
to begin your first song.

Richard Roe’s books include Knots of Sweet Longing (Wolfsong Publications, 2001), What Will You Find at the Edge of the World (Fireweed Press, 2001), and Bringer of Songs (Fireweed Press, 1994).

*

Wife / Shoshauna Shy

He wanted to want her
but being able to have her
at any given time
diminished desire.
It was only in sleep he was aroused
as he tilted through dreams where she became
the Kwik-Trip cashier, Eddie’s sister-in-law
or the sub from sixth grade.
Her plumping of pillows, her mashing potatoes
sang of aprons and Mama and pink medicine
which left him as flaccid as a fish on a dock

till the evening he happened
to be hosing the begonias
while she was undressing
at their bedroom window.
Out of her slip he saw her shimmy,
spread her skirt on the wingback chair,
the parted lace curtains a picture frame
to their dark yard that fanned
like a bellows behind him.
He watched as she leaned
and brushed loose her hair,
then he raced inside ready
to shuck off his trousers.

Now she ponders why he disappears
following the finish of NewsLine at ten.
He claims he forgot to fertilize the roses.

From What the Postcard Didn’t Say (Zelda Wilde Publishing, 2007). Shoshauna Shy’s other books include White Horses on Sale for a Song (Parallel Press, 2005). In 2004 she founded a program called Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, the mission of which is to place poetry in public places where it is not expected.


About these ads

0 Responses to “Soundings: Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Recall: A Short Story

eBook Single .99

Caffeine & Other Stories by Bob Wake

Order Caffeine to Go ($2.99 on Kindle)

Coffee Spew Tag Cloud

"A Visit of Charity" 77 Square 2007 Man Booker Prize 2010 Wisconsin Book Festival 2666 Absalom Absalom! Adam Gopnik Adolf Hitler A Gate at the Stairs Ahtna Tribe Alan Cheuse Alan Greenspan Alcoholics Anonymous Alfred Hitchcock Alison Jones Chaim Alive in Joberg Allegheny Mountains Allison Fiutak Alpha the Moralist Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself American Boy American Players Theater Amy Lou Jenkins And If It Be Mean Andrew Rieger Andrzej Wajda An Evening in Spring An Inventory of Lost Things Anne Donnellan Anne Enright Anne Frank Anne Lamott Anne M. Donnellan Annette O'Toole Ann Morrison Ann Prayer Anthony Mann Anton Chekhov April Derleth (1954-2011) Arbor Vitae Arkham House Ashes and Diamonds Asperger's Syndrome A Theory of Lipstick At Home in the World A Tomb for Boris Davidovich August Derleth August McGinnity-Wake Autism Autism: Sensory-Movement Differences and Diversity Autism Asperger Publishing Company Avol's Bookstore B.J. Best Bad Axe Barbara Buswell Barbara de Wilde Barbara Stanwyck Battle of Stalingrad Baz Luhrmann Because You Have To: A Writing Life Bell Book and Candle Ben Armstrong's Strange Trip Home Ben Averill Benjamin Truman Bennett and Hastings Publishing Bernard Herrmann Bernard Schlink Big Bill Broonzy Bill of Lading Billy Strayhorn Birds of Wisconsin Blake Bailey Bob Dylan Bob Wake Bob Wake Goes on a Cruise Bon Iver Bonnie Friedman Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It Botteghe Oscure Bret Easton Ellis Brett Alan Sanders Brian Johnson Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Bruce Bodden Bruce Dethlefsen Burbank Caffeine & Other Stories Calamity Song Cambridge-Rockdale Wisconsin Cambridge Book Review Cambridge Book Review Press Cambridge Wisconsin Carol Quirk Cassandra Wilson Cathryn Cofell Cat People (1942) Cat People (1982) CBR Press Centennial Press Charles Baxter Charles Berling Charles Nevsimal Chelsea Cardinal Chicago Sun-Times China's ghost towns Chris Hartsfield Chris Lott Christopher Nolan Citizen Kane Civil Rights Clark Street Rag Coleen Gray Coleman Colin Meloy Colony Collapse Press Common Ground Communist Poland Connie Lyle O'Brien Consultation Correcting the Landscape Cottonbound: An Audio Chapbook Council for Wisconsin Writers Cowfeather Press coyote mythology Criterion DVD Czeslaw Milosz D.T. Max Dale M. Kushner Daniel Berrigan Daniel Craig Daniel Fuchs Danilo Kiš Dan Parent Dark Card Darth Vader Dave & Phil Alvin David Allan Cates David Bowie David Carr David Foster Wallace David Hidalgo David Hill David Koch David Letterman David Lipsky David Mamet David Pitonyak Deborah Eisenberg Deference Del's Supper Club Demilitarized Zone Denis Johnson Dennis Graham Associates Derek Almstead Derrick Harriell Detour DeWitt Bodeen DFW RIP Diana Krall Dierdre Luzwick Disability Studies Quarterly District 9 Dmitri Shostakovich Dorothy Malone Double Indemnity Doug Moe draft resistance Driftless Area Duke Ellington Dwight Allen E. Pauline Johnson Eau Claire Wisconsin ebook ebooks Echoes economics econophysics Ed Begley Jr. Edenfred Edgar Allan Poe Edgar G. Ulmer Edge of Nowhere Edmund G. Bansak Edmund Goulding Edmund Wilson Edna O’Brien Edward G. Robinson Eighth String Quartet (Opus 110) Elegy Elf Power Elia Kazan Elie Wiesel Eli Roth Elizabeth Ann Hulick Elizabeth Strout Elmore Leonard Emily Dickinson Eric Harris Erik Richardson Ernest Hemingway Eschaton Ester Republic Press Eudora Welty Europe Central Evan Williams Every Love Story is a Ghost Story Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting Everything Ravaged Everything Burned F.J. Bergmann F. Scott Fitzgerald Fabu Facebook ads Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career female jazz vocalists Film Noir Finishing Line Press Fireweed Press Fisherman's Beach Fisherman's Beach ebook Flight Patterns For No One Fox 8: A Story Frances Kroll Ring Francis Kroll Ring Frank McCourt François Truffaut Fred MacMurray Freedom Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity Future Islands Gail Godwin Gangnam Style Gay Davidson-Zielske Geoffrey Chaucer George Romero George Saunders George V. Higgins George Vukelich Gerald Fosdal Geri Schrab Gerrit Welmers Ghosts in the Library Giorgio Moroder Given These Magics God/Seed: Poetry & Art About the Natural World Go Down Moses Golden Bloom Goldmine in the Sun Graphic Classics Gregory Peck Halloween Harold Pinter Harper's Harvard University Press Heinrich Böll Helen Walker Henri-Pierre Roché Herbert Lovett Hieronymus Bosch High Noon Saloon Hitchcock Holden Caulfield Holy Week horror short stories Houdini Pie How Cow Press Hunger in America Ian Fleming Ian Keith Ian Murphy Icarus Himself Ida Lupino If I Could Tell You Inception In Envy Country Infinite Jest Inglourious Basterds Ingmar Bergman Inherent Vice Inside Outside Morningside In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Irish literature Irma Vep J. Allen Kirsch J. D. Salinger Jacket Copy Jack Lehman Jack London Jack Nicholson Jacques Tourneur Jaimy Gordon James Avati James Bond James Brown James Dante James Ellroy James P. Roberts James Roberts Jane Smiley Jason A. Smith Jason Epstein Jason Smith Jay McInerney Jayne Anne Phillips Jean-Luc Marion Jean-Pierre Léaud Jeff Bridges Jeff Mangum Jeremy Irons Jeri McCormick Jerzy Andrzejewski Jesus' Son Jet Airliner Jim McMunn Jimmy Hughes Jim Stevens Joan Bennett Joan Blondell Joan Frank Jodi Robledo Joel Weisman John Berryman John Cheever John Donne John Heard John Irving John Koethe John Lehman John O'Brien John Smelcer John Tuschen John Updike Jonathan Franzen Jonathan Regier Joseph Bruchac Joseph H. Lewis Josh Cohen José Ángel Valente Joyce Maynard Judge Judy Endow Jules and Jim Jules Furthman Juliette Binoche Junkie Nurse Justin Vernon Jérémie Renier Kamil Vojnar Kane County Illinois Republican Party Karla Huston Karl Elder Kate McGinnity Kate Winslat Kate Winslet Katherine Anne Porter Kathy Kaebisch Katjusa Cisar Katz Drug Store lunch-counter sit-in Keats Kenneth Slawenski Kim Garcia Kim Novak Kindle Kindle ebook Kloppenburg Korea Kristine Rusch Kurt Vonnegut Kyle Harper L. A. Times Laird Cregar Langston Hughes Larry Cyr Larry Watson Last Call Late Show with David Letterman Launchpad Laura Carter Leapfrog Press Learning to Listen Ledgers of History Lee Garmes Lee Jing-Jing Lester Smith Lights! Camera! Autism! Lights! Camera! Autism! 2 Like a Cannonball Lillian Ross Linda Aschbrenner Linda Darnell Linda Lenzke Lindsay Lohan Lisa Ladson Lisa Pankratz literary contest Little Creek Press Little Eagle Press Local 311 Pipes & Drums Lon Chaney Jr. Lone Wolves Look at the Birdie Lord of Misrule Lorine Niedecker Lorna Stevens Lorrie Moore Love and Theft Lucas Bielijewski Madame Sul-Te-Wan Madison Madison 3/10/11 Madison Magazine Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Madison Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin protests Maggie Cheung Mahlon Mitchell Maile Meloy Main Street Rag Main Street Rag Publishing Co. Make it Stay Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism's Helpers Malcolm Lowry Malcolm McDowell March 19 2011 Margaret Atwood Maria Rosa Lojo Marie Mundaca Marjorie Kowalski Cole Mark A. Nelson Marshall Cavendish Editions Martha Leary Martin Amis Martin Scorsese Martin Sisters Publishing Mary C. Schuh Matt Binetti Matt Girard Matthew J. Bruccoli Max Garland Mayapple Press Medium Members of Each Other Men without Meaning Metamorphoses Michael Epstein Michael Kriesel Michael Lowry Michael Pietsch Michael Sheehan Middle English Milkweed Editions Mobius Modern Times Mom's Canoe Monroe Stahr Montana 1948 My Life as a Terrorist: Uncovering my FBI file NAACP Nancy Jesse Nancy Langston Nancy Zucker Nan Negri Nastassja Kinski National Book Award 2005 Native Alaska Native American Classics Native American folklore Neill Blomkamp Neutral Milk Hotel Neutral Uke Hotel New York Times Nickolas Butler Nick Tosches Nick Whetro Nicole Eredics Nightmare Alley Night of the Living Dead Nikolay Middle School Noon Wine Norbert Blei Norma Gay Prewett North Country Notebook North Country Press Northwestern University Press Nothrop Frye Nutcracker Suite Oh Comely Olive Kitteridge Olivier Assayas online fiction Origins of FIS (Factory in a Suitcase) Orphan Orson Welles Oscar Swan Our Lives Ouroboros symbolism Ovid P.S. Mueller Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated Parallel Press Parnell Nelson Passionate Nomads Patricia LeBon Herb Patty Berglund Paula Anderson Paula Kluth Paul Bowles Pauline Kael Paul McCartney Paul Michel Paul Schrader Paul Soglin Pencil Test Penelope Cruz Penguin paperback Peter Biskind Peter Yates Philip Roth Poetry Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf Polyester Popcorn Press Prairie du Sac Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Proposals for the Recovery of the Apparently Drowned Psalms public housing Publishing: The Revolutionary Future Quentin Tarantino Quiet Nights Quiver Raging Bull (1980) Ralph Murre Raw Deal Ray Bradbury Raymond Carver Raymond Chandler Rebecca Foust Rebecca Williams Recall Red Dragonfly Press Redshift: Greenstreem Return to Walden West Revolutionary Road Revolver Richard Ford Richard Katz Richard Quine Richard Roe Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction Richard Widmark Richard Yates Rick Geary RKO Robert Bly Robert De Niro Robert Mitchum Roberto Bolaño Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize Robert Zoschke Robin Chapman Rob Thomas Rod Clark Rogers Street Fishing Village & Museum Rolling Stone Rosalyn Coleman Gilchrist Rosebud Rosebud 51 Rosebud Book Reviews Rosebud Magazine Royal Trux Ruben Varda Ruby Dee Rush Limbaugh Sac Prairie Sally Wolff-King Salman Rushdie Salvador Dali Sam Spiegel Samuel Beckett Samuel Herring Sarah Busse saturated phenomena Sauk City Sauk City Wisconsin sci-fi science fiction Sean Connery Sebastian Barry Seoul Sharlto Copley Sharon Hammer Shawn Fogel Sheldon Roth Shirley Hazzard short stories short story Shoshauna Shy Shotgun Lovesongs Shrine of the Tooth Fairy siege of Leningrad Signs and Wonders Simone Simon Singapore Six Gallery Press Slumdog Millionaire Sly in the Morning Somewhere Piano Soviet Communism Spencer Walts Spiro Agnew Split Personality Spoke Spring Green Spring Green Wisconsin St. Martin's Press Stefan Szczuka Stephanie Bedford Stephen Greenblatt Stephen Hinkle Stephen King Steve Erickson Steve Miller Band Steven Salmon Stranger in the Window suitcase nuclear reactor Summer Hours Summer of the Cinetherapist Sundance Cinema sunnyoutside Supermoon Susan Firer suspended animation Sven Birkerts SXSW Tama Janowitz Tamar Jacobsohn Taxi Driver (1976) Tchaikovsky Tell-Tale Camera Telling Time Temple Grandin Tenth of December Texas Review Press Thaisa Frank the 99 percent The Atlantic Monthly The Bagheeta The Big Combo The Big Lebowski The Birds The Blasters The Broom of the System The Burning Monk The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari The Call of the Wild The Cambridge News The Capital Times The Captive Mind The Catcher in the Rye The Cattle Thief The Comedy of Errors The Conditions of Love The Corrections The Crack-Up The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Decemberists The Dream Songs The Dude The Dying Animal the eelgrass meadow The Frequency The Friends of Eddie Coyle The G.O.D. Club The Gathering The Gift of the Magi The Great Death The Great Gatsby The Green Suit The Hazards of Love The Hungry Dead The Last Tycoon The Love of the Last Tycoon: A Western The Macomber Affair The Magnificent Ambersons The Masturbator The Motion Sick The National Lampoon The New Yorker The New York Review of Books The Old Man and the Sea The Pale King The Pat Hobby Stories The Permanent Press The Perpetual Commotion of the Heart The Reader The Second Pass The Secret Scripture The Sheltering Sky The Shield of the Valiant The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber The Silent Witness The Soft-Hearted Sioux The Taking Under The Tiger's Wedding The Trap The Typewriter Satyr The Village Poet The Wisconsin Collection The Wolf Man (1940) The Writer's Cave Thomas Christensen Thomas Fuchs Thomas J. King Thomas Pynchon Three Years from Upstate Time Out of Mind Tim Jonze Timothy Truman Tim Ware Tippi Hedren Together Through Life Tom Pomplun Tom Sawyer Tracy Walczak Tree of Smoke Trimalchio: An Early Version of the Great Gatsby Twitter Two English Girls Two Rivers Wisconsin Ty-D-Bol Blue Tyrone Power UK Guardian Un Chien Andalou Under the Volcano Unexpected Shiny Things University of Notre Dame Press University of Wisconsin Press Until I Find You Up in the Air Ursula Le Guin UW Bookstore Hilldale Val Lewton Vampyr Verse Vera Farmiga Verse Wisconsin Vertigo Vicky Cristina Barcelona Victory Lap video technology Vietnam War Vote Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court April 5 2011 W.E.B. Du Bois Walden West Walk Awhile in My Autism Walter Berglund Weird Tales Wells Tower Wendy Vardaman Weshoyot Alvitre What's Up With Your Brother? What Did Jesus Do? Wiggle Room wiki for Infinite Jest Wikus van der Merwe Will Blythe William Cashion William Faulkner William Lindsay Gresham William Maxwell William T. Vollmann Wisconsin Wisconsin Book Festival Wisconsin labor protests Wisconsin literature Wisconsin People & Ideas Wisconsin poetry Wisconsin politics Wisconsin State Journal Wisconsin writing Writers from the Other Europe WTDY X.J. Kennedy Award X. J. Kennedy Award for Creative Nonfiction Yellow Sky Zbigniew Cybulski Zitkala-Ša Zora Neale Hurston

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers

%d bloggers like this: