The Sempiternal Roads-Shaped Reading (4/16 at Avol’s, 7pm)

The ________-Shaped Reading series is back after a four month hiatus, and it’s Sempiternal Roads-Shaped. Surprise!

Please come join us Saturday night the 16th of April at Avol’s Books (315 West Gorham) at 7 pm as we listen to three wonderful poets arriving here from ways away: Joel Craig, Andy Fitch, and Geoffrey Olsen (see bios and poems below). Then after words, I suggest we go for a drink somewhere nearby. What do you say?


Joel Craig is the author of the chapbook Shine Tomorrow (Lost Horse, 2009); and poems forthcoming or lately in TYPO, A Public Space, MoonLit, The Zoland Annual, GutCult, Iowa Review, and others. He lives in Chicago, IL where he is the poetry editor for MAKE: A Literary Magazine, and where he co-founded and curates The Danny’s Reading Series at Danny’s Tavern.

Andy Fitch has books forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press and Ugly Duckling Presse. The Song Cave recently released his chapbook Island. In 2010, Ugly Duckling published his collaboration with Jon Cotner Ten Walks/Two Talks. He teaches in the University of Wyoming’s MFA program.

Geoffrey Olsen lives in Brooklyn, New York and works at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. He is the author of the chapbook End Notebook (petrichord press, 2008). His chapbook, Not of Distends * Address Panicked is forthcoming from Minutes Books.


Andy Fitch


Gravel connects me to The Reservoir…the trip’s next highlight…the Jackie O…and the first shirtless boy of the season…chasing a doberman chasing pigeons…Oh this “shirtless boy” wears a peach-colored top…which still counts…until a shirtless man passes in skimpy shorts…clutching garments…two pierced hearts on his shoulder

Silence without street sounds from before…from which I’ll sniff warm pine needles…watch a camera bag bob…twirl…unknot itself…Tennis players pack the courts playing doubles…shoes skidding across the clay…the way clouds push the sun around this park…part of the city

Geoffrey Olsen

an excerpt from Not of Distends * Address Panicked

breath function

who’d they think I
though outside for
an hour fragmentary, attuned

insult widely those
partial fictive order
experience something solos
and its soloing though not withdrawn at

last inescapable somehow countering that
expected satisfaction. not cloying
rhythm. ours as later. the red coming down the white wool in thin
streams and with the pulse. a sheep. several
people there coughed

one left and walked to the door
able to leave.
week’s provenance berated. these dull colors.
which as memory responds
against. roots cleft. vague frequencies.
coherence turns.

so much rocky stuff
hold it
you’re supposed to.

rapt wince. today open clouds blue. receipt.


and poetry. the overlaps
affective. Formulating a response
it is removed

through time

as therefore I am to here’s
responding to an outside. Be
ing filled with anxiety about this presentation. but that is. pass.


Joel Craig

The Second Half of the Flight

Going on old gut instinct I said,
instead of pushing away your dead friends,
when you wake up try bringing them along
as allies during the day.
There was a smudge of blood on my collar, and I was staring at it
not really thinking anything at all when the roof fell in.
You don’t often get to hear the actual words of an early childhood
programming. With new emotions creeping into your life
perhaps higher frequency is compensated
by reduced intensity. After the debacle
in San Fernando Valley, I told her she could do anything
she felt like—a simple gesture
to reassure the child inside. At the top of the hill
there was a crumbling cement overlook and the remnants
of a spiral staircase to an upper level
that no longer existed. The traveler can see
a legion of bulldozers developing
extraordinary rapidity into the green, the millions
and millions of compounds that are known.
It is a project not a certainty. Christmas
in the hills, big smiles. The Russians recoil
from nothing, so I never try to force public opinion.
Not when it is so young.
Real caring, like love, cannot be forced,
and she should have sufficient insight of her own
to be aware of what her feelings toward me really are.
Trying to open my eyes
or lift a finger to deliver the most reassuring description.
Jesus Christ! There are foods
and metabolites, hormones, enzymes and minerals that in essence
define us. Like a mummy in an undiscovered tomb or a star
in some undescribed galaxy, they may be unknown to us,
but they might be present in a tealeaf, or a moss spore.
Not wanting to get in the way of the image, I speak quietly,
but at least now I can talk about it, looking at the way her body lay,
hands relaxed, fingers loosely curled at her sides.
I couldn’t figure out how I got outside. The view
was lovely, surrounded by palm trees and flowering bushes
of many kinds, and it was the tropics, the real tropics,
again. I also teach hypnotherapy. I’ve written a book and I’m doing
very well. Would your dog fight a bear
for you? I’m thinking about this big zoom lens,
how I began exploring the world of administrative officialdom
for ultimate, magical overlaps. The reward
for this caper will be in the stamps, not the science.
Bigger bridges. Better bones. The victim was Catholic.
A lot of intensity and passion and wonderful Latin phrases.
It’s here that the two areas of my personal interest—
swamp collecting, God Saving Us—effectively overlap. A sherbet-cool breeze
coming through my open doors, to my immense relief.
I had been sweating in the earlier humid warmth, and now,
finally I was feeling comfortable. Peace and quiet
for a while. He sat back in his seat, looking at me thoughtfully
during liftoff. That makes very much sense, as you say. It is true
I should not be afraid of them. Why should I fear dead friends
who love me?


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