Thursday, May 26th – 7-9 pm
Book Release Celebration
A World Less Away, a collection of poems by José Luis Gutiérrez
Poet Tracey Knapp will join José Luis Gutiérrez in a reading to celebrate the release of Jose’s new collection, A World Less Away. Tracey’s book, “Mouth,” was published in 2015. Guitarist David McFarland contributes his music to the occasion.
José Luis Gutiérrez was born in Miami and grew up in Panama. He is a San Francisco-based poet, interpreter and translator. His work has appeared in Eratio, Scythe, Margie, DMQ and the anthologies Mutanabbi Street Starts Here and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, among others. His first full-length poetry collection A World Less Away has recently been published by Pariah Dog Press. Poet Dean Radar says of the book, “A World Less Away is a masterful mapping, an aesthetic atlas of ideas, war, creation, economic decline, tenderness, and the journeys we make among them… Meditative and inquisitive, these poems migrate between the personal and the political in modes both smart and accessible.”
Tracey Knapp’s first full-length collection of poems, Mouth, won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award and was published in 2015. Tracey has received scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fund. Her work has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2008 and 2010, The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems (Red Hen Press), and has appeared in Poetry Daily, Five Points, The National Poetry Review, Red Wheelbarrow Review, The New Ohio Review, The Minnesota Review and elsewhere. “Quotidian, weird, intimate, witty, and skittery, Knapp’s poems are refractions through a funhouse mirror. …Read it and weep over your nachos and wine; it will leave you wanting more,” says Kim Addonizio.
David McFarland performs his own compositions and jazz standards. His jazz trio, HITS N’JUNK, performs around the Bay area. David has studied with Jonathan Kreisberg, Mimi Fox, Bruno Bacquert-Pelletier, and Tuck Andress.
This pigeon with a broken wing
justifies my fear of flying.
Windows are traps of clarity
made to ensnare the sky.
How many windows depends
on how many skies my mind
can hold without shattering
into a million mosaic pieces.
A matryoshka doll of days
nesting different skies.
Or memory palace of clouds
in nomadic configurations
spelling both hello and good-bye
like faces staring from the back
of their own heads in certain paintings.
Because of the myth of breath
trees are necessary and birds uneasy
at their perch remind me
how we’re all animals caught
in the same blue distances
of our dreaming in case
fog with a chance of mountains
a sea or moon epiphany and tides
give way to the gift of rising.
Sooth-say your ways, said
the blue-gray gnatcatcher,
arriving on yesterday’s wind
to alight on the crab apple tree
outside my window.
One of its feathers can pack
a zillion top quarks, the densest
particle in the universe,
and not miss a wingbeat
in the coming migration.
There’s this memory of my father
showing me how to fly a kite
before loss found a foothold.
A park blazed with the last
of summer’s hydrogen.
The bright red jellyfish kite he held
firmly anchored in air’s feral trough
and dazzling us with its streamers.
The day promised to stay forever.
His gestures demonstrated what in speech
he withheld: that the trick lies in holding the string
while slowly letting go.
— José Luis Gutiérrez
Available Now at Bird & Beckett
Hot off the press from your neighborhood bookshop just in time for the lame duck period. 75 million voters, and counting, have rejected fascism and lies. 70 million haven’t yet made that commitment. Bully Goat’s Bluff might change a few of their minds.
Fits nicely in an invitation envelope for mailing. Fits in a pocket as well.
~~ Poetry as philosophy to plumb the deeper truths of these times ~~
$15 and worth every penny
_ _ _
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