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March Reading at The Good Karma Cafe (3/18/12)

Here’s the deal:  Ryan Eckes fired the first volley in a hot room that bubbled with grit, wit and les images de la ville.  The crowd swooned because winter isn’t winter and it was August inside.  Ryan brought more heat.  So, clip-clop to the outside space.  Clear the vibe and BREATHE!  Quyen stepped up and talked about diabetic bees and Henri, but since he doesn’t speak French, I pretended that he was referencing some Asian dude with a pipe.  Don’t ask.  LISTEN!  Here’s the second part of said deal–read their work right here and do it NOW!

art as experience
in passing john calls john dewey j-dew, which makes everything infinitely
more watchable. go phillies like a bus, half hours, half flowers, to valu-
plus for flip-flops and a new notebook—marble, like my stoop. i stand
on the book, its title, valu-plus, arrived home on a sticker, yellow, with
a price: a buck, a holler. after that we’re free to have our hazards. love
ages me, but not that two people were murdered a half block from me
this week. the barista lays down a napkin and spoon even when you’re
just getting it to go. front-to-back three years ago a night this november
i tore thru splay anthem while this place was called something else, and
i thought i felt the whole world sail thru a map in my chest, knocked on
wood a lesson: bare hands, bare hands, no lie: you’ll never understand
yourself in isolation. a hair on your selfish city’s chest, you will mistake
selfishness for independence again. again, you will catch yourself being
a republican to yourself. if i’m beaten, who can tell. not me, anymore.
not me, anymore.

           –Ryan Eckes

If you find yourself stuck, I say ‘breathe!’
window weary cabs, with little to see
I failed to admire my brilliant toenails
insolent eyes of the gay bee
my soul enjoys feverish delights
painted picture of a deciduous scene

golden chain long let me breathe
curiously soft adaptation   often I thought
I’d answer, “No!” five fingers
stroking delicate corollas   firm pirouettes
the autumnal sun lingers
if only they flaunted themselves!

philosopher, poet, artist, immortal
the new café   what a wunnerful day
eyeless countenance   silent wheeze
a trumpet he had heard before, women doubled
bringing contrary results   pain under survey
moldable bronze   invincible breeze

                 –Quyen H. Nghiem

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