At Saturday, November 19th in Avol’s Books on 6pm – Mary Austin Speaker, Chris Martin, and Sarah Fox will be reading their poems.  This reading is guaranteed to be wonderful or somebody gets their clear something-shape back. Or quashad. Some bios and poems to follow and give you a sense (after this photograph):

Chris Martin is the author of Becoming Weather (Coffee House 2011) and American Music (Copper Canyon 2007).  He is also the author of several chapbooks, including How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem (Brave Men 2011) and the forthcoming Hymn that Is the Air (Ugly Duckling 2012).  He is an editor at Futurepoem books and curates the response blog Futurepost from the oldest house in Iowa City.

The Bat

for Sarah Fox

Self and
self’s subset
like a bell’s
tongue is part
of its sounding mechanism
also called a clapper
and will only travel out
in waves of beaten sonority
like how seeing strikes the seen
and the seen returns its blow
a limp fisticuff of color
that uncoils in animal brogue
a mouth of planes
that beat the eye
black with language
I travelled light
I literally
rode pulse
like a bat
like my mouth’s
wet flapping was tied
to maps of proximity
I consumed the room’s waste
to find a little place
inside the stanza for raising mammals
whose hands are also our cape
who love nothing above song
and make a map wherever
we bell into light
our crunched noses flush
against sun’s dénouement
a golden crown
devouring fruit
devouring whatever
echo suits us
there is never
enough to let go
we left coterie life
to map the night’s growth

Sarah Fox was born in the year, month, and hour of the Horse. She lives in NE Minneapolis where, with John Colburn, she co-imagines the Center for Visionary Poetics, and seeks to engage in any and all collaborative occupations that increase love, liberation, transparency, solidarity, and imaginative acreage in the collective psyche. Her book Because Why was published by Coffee House Press, and recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spout, Conduit, Tammy, humdrum, ElevenEleven, Action Yes, Boo: A Journal of Terrific Things, and Rain Taxi. She writes about occult motherhood, astropoetics, entheogenic plant medicines, and more on the multi-author blog montevidayo.com, teaches English, Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota, and serves as a doula. Two new books are forthcoming from Coffee House, including Doctrine of Signatures—a collection of poems the Milwaukee poet Antler has deemed “a Paleolithic hallucinogenic dreamstate phantasmagoric shaman voyage”—and Mother Substance—a book-length assemblage documenting the psychic and somatic catastrophes faced by women exposed in utero to the synthetic estrogen Diethylstilbestrol (DES) (“the worst drug disaster in American history”). She performs “poetry rituals” and other acts of intersubjective communion in public and private spaces whenever she can.

(from COM[M]A)


I drownproofed myself and the dead
babies with shriek vests and we set
off across the lake on our raft towards
another shore whose inhabitants might
welcome us. We were transpersonal
pilgrims, the water revised us and we
knew that the lake was merely
the surface of our dream, like the raft
was just a borrowed womb the babies
couldn’t leak through. A clergy of crows
cropped up as magnetic chorus on
the horizon. I grew fins and amped up
our destiny. I was prepared to submit
to the crows’ reconfigurement, become
beak-scratched and claw-scrawled,
seam-spilling. Black caws feathering
my veins. I cradle the blood in my
hands, press prints onto the walls
of the chamber where I hoard all my skulls.

Mary Austin Speaker is the author of four chapbooks: In the End There Were Thousands of Cowboys, Abandoning the Firmament (Menagerie Editions 2009 and 2010), The Bridge (Push Press 2011) and 20 Love Poems for 10 Months (forthcoming in 2012 from Ugly Duckling Presse). New work  has recently appeared in Pleiades, Big Bell, Boston Review, Boog City Reader, 20012, Iowa Review, la fovea, Bright Pink Mosquito, New Orleans Review and elsewhere. She teaches writing and works as a freelance book designer in Iowa City, IA.

from 20 Love Poems for 10 Months


perched like
crows in the
sky’s highest
limbs so land
rolls its white
woolen rug
of winter
a flood
of yes


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