Srikanth Reddy, Ben and Sandra Doller

Posted in 2011–2012 Readings and Talks

Srikanth Reddy, Ben and Sandra Doller

April 24, 2012

Seminar 5:30 PM | Lannan Center (New North 408)
Reading 8:00 PM | Copley Formal Lounge


—Srikanth Reddy

I am about to recite a psalm that I know. Before I begin, my expectation extends over the entire psalm. Once I have begun, the words I have said remove themselves from expectation & are now held in memory while those yet to be said remain waiting in expectation. The present is a word for only those words which I am now saying. As I speak, the present moves across the length of the psalm, which I mark for you with my finger in the psalm book. The psalm is written in India ink, the oldest ink known to mankind. Every ink is made up of a color & a vehicle. With India ink, the color is carbon & the vehicle, water. Life on our planet is also composed of carbon & water. In the history of ink, which is rapidly coming to an end, the ancient world turns from the use of India ink to adopt sepia. Sepia is made from the octopus, the squid & the cuttlefish. One curious property of the cuttlefish is that, once dead, its body begins to glow. This mild phosphorescence reaches its greatest intensity a few days after death, then ebbs away as the body decays. You can read by this light.

From the Poetry Society of America
Read more about Srikanth Reddy

A is For

— Sandra Doller

Brother who who out of earth
has not fallen blackened out of
birth in a temper—tempting to
see an O in you—O for the
overcome—O for O—small
hand brother with that in your
mouth an A is how you say L—
an owl couldn’t hear you better
from this distance—the waves
hit your head—she said Austin—
I will have you—all ways
in awe—a tin tin cup from
far far—open the clay
pot with your—some children
they never move—born
from black safety hard to get back—
stay a while baby—who who will
sing for you—the whole world womb—
whirly vision—if vision—if you
hear say A—test the senses
with Ah—world beyond physique
patted downy owl—will not die—
of lake—not lacking in
waterfront—the A’s have it—
who who will not—give this—
boy body without sound—
does not make no sound—nor
cause none—see a sound—
the teacher of water to behave—
like wet, stippled earth—
transformy all over the narrative—
there is no song—no
mother—no sum.

Read more about Sandra Doller

Radio, Radio

—Ben Doller

In the middle of every field,
obscured from the side by grass
or cornhusks, is a clearing where
she works burying swans alive
into the black earth. She only
buries their bodies, their wings.
She packs the dirt tight around
their noodle necks & they shake
like long eyelashes in a hurricane.
She makes me feed them by hand
twice a day for one full year: grain,
bits of chopped fish. Then she
takes me to the tin toolshed.
Again she shows me the world
inside her silver transistor radio.
She hands me the scythe.

From Radio, Radio (Louisiana State University Press, 2000)
Read more about Ben Doller

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