Douglas Kearney at Poetry Matters August 14

This edition of POETRY MATTERS will feature Poet/performer/librettist Douglas Kearney. His second, full-length collection of poetry, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), was Catherine Wagner’s selection for the National Poetry Series. His produced operas include Sucktion, Mordake, and Crescent City.

“Where, oh where would we be without the dynamic intelligence and feats of lyric daring that Douglas Kearney’s work has delivered to American poetry? …”
—Tracy K. Smith

Thursday August 145h
7:30 open microphone
Stay Gallery 11140 Downey Ave, 90241
Downtown Downey at Firestone
Douglas Kearney
Tallahatchie Lullabye, Baby
cattail cast tattles Till tale,
lowing low along the hollow.
crickets chirrup and ribbits lick-up
what’s chucked the ‘hatchie swallow.
skin scow skiffs upon pond scum skin
getting slow along the hollow.
now may mayfly alight brown brow.
what’s chucked the ‘hatchie swallow.
maybe bye baby bye baby by and by–
lying low along the hollow —
we will slip the knot not slip will we?
what’s chucked the ‘hatchie swallow.
who’s a bruise to blue hue ‘hatchie,
going slow along the hollow?
who’s a bruise to whose hue, ‘hatchie?
what’s chucked the ‘hatchie swallow.
Kodak flash tattles Till tale
going slow along the hollow,
who’s a bruise to bruise hue?
swallow what the ‘hatchie chucks.
                  –Emett Till (1941-1955)
       Douglas Kearney, The Black Automaton
How to re-tell a brutal landmark civil right’s crime?  Kearny’s understated take is to present it as a lullaby, with soothing rhymes and slick, almost too slick, consonant chatter.   The story emerges like ripples, where something has disturbed the water.  A new look at an old wrong.
Doug Kearney will read his poems which contain adult themes and language at Stay Gallery August 14.

By Downey Arts Coalition

Downey Arts Coalition is a movement of several people, however this website is currently managed and updated by Andrew J Wahlquist.

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