The Operating System

IT'S a FAMILY AFFAIR: Get to Know Exit Strata's Poetry Festival Team

1
and sometimes,
when no one is watching
I pick up sticks and place them in my pocket
so they can feel like they belong to something again.
2
But let’s stay grounded …
At plains and prairies’ end,
sharp mountains loom,
obscured by residueof fire. Many dim gray
columns of smoke rise,
slanted like sunbeams,
reversing, it seems,
the old image of radiant grace,
a sign
to score the acrid skies.
3
as I cut,
the pane of glass
was simple until I came
across
a second hand
I cannot say for sure why
I found it repulsive
longing and apathy
became synonymous- but still
like an angel without a synthesizer
4
like lips whistling with more wind than melody
the note held in fingers blurring fresh ink with sweat
stained shirts my old roommate’s collar colored yellow
yolks run down the sandwich, down my hand
shaking trying to light a match to light a cigarette
ashes and coffee grounds augured over mornings
spent trying to find the right word, to say what
I want to hear glaciers falling down mountains
5
the air is aggressive
not to be moved within
but to rub against, to slide
skin on skin on humid skin
until these damp curtains
all zippered buttoned tied
show themselves
remnants
of an obsolete notion:
solitude and summer are dissimilar
to the point of mutual exclusivity
 
(1: Tishon, from Sometimes; 2: Bill Considine, from Continent of Fire; 3: Lancelot Runge, from The Hell Out; 4: Ben Wiessner, from Slow Dancing Answers, Banter; 5. Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, from Kinsey Report)

**Could we be more excited about the Poetry Festival this weekend? **

About our sunday lineup:

Team Exit Strata is a true representation of the diverse pools from which our community gathers — in addition to Ben Wiessner (co-poetry editor) and myself (Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, co-poetry editor, web editor), we are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the words of
Tishon,
William (Bill) Considine, and
Lancelot Runge.
If these names sound familiar to you, it’s perhaps because you met Tishon, Bill, or Lancelot at our May salon/celebration/launch at This Must Be the Place, or perhaps you read their terrific contributions to the 30/30/30: Inspiration, Community, Tradition series we ran in celebration of Poetry Month this April. Or perhaps you are prescient, and anticipate the genuine passion, commitment to the craft, and friendship that each of these names represent, and the extent to which your life will improve in bounds in connecting to them.
This lineup represents the heart of Exit Strata’s poetic spirit: intergenerational, collaborative, and committed to pushing boundaries in our own work and in our community.  We thought that it would be nice to give you a little amuse bouche of excerpts in the form of the above, to get you really hungry for sunday’s feast, but also we want to give you a little glimpse of who Tishon, Bill, and Lancelot are, and what greatness they are up to. Enjoy! It’s delicious.  (and… see you SUNDAY!)

Tishon gesticulates, clearly the physicalization of a genius thought. [at Exit Strata PRINT! a Celebration 5.12.12, This Must Be The Place, Brooklyn NY]

Tishon Woolcock is the founder of Well & Often press – alongside Poet/Performer Caits Meissner, with whom he also published the beautiful collection The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You, which is also available as an audiobook. Tishon and Well and Often serve as a model for the future of independent publishing, creativity, design, and collaborative ventures — on stage, on paper, on line, on video, and in recording. They always inspire us to be better. They just launched an online READER, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Bill Considine (L) and Gregory Crosby read at POTLATCH: A Tribal Gathering [April 1, 2012]

William (Bill) Considine is a poet and a playwright who has been active on the New York City poetry circuit since the 1970’s — a long history which consistently has included interdisciplinary exploration, performance, and multimedia collaborations. Recently, he has been deeply engaged in the Poetry Project workshop community, out of which a number of recent video and sound collaboration projects have grown — you can listen to Gowanus, a collaboration with Cosmo D, produced and Mixed by Ambrose Bye, (and featured on the CD,  New Festivals of Rhizomes and Wraiths)  on the Exit Strata site.

Lancelot Runge (R) with Fiction Editor D.A. Wright working on the collaborative typewriter text at PRINT! A Celebration [5.12.12]

Lancelot Runge is a young lion. The type of overwhelming young poetic mind that leaves you slightly breathless, who tells you in the same sentence that he hand designed and published a dozen or more chapbooks in the past few years and that he’s simply not doing enough. Only just graduated from the writing program at Pratt, and is already making his way around the circuit, as others stand up and take notice of his unique style and energy. His singular piece for us in the 30/30/30 series demonstrates his creative facility as a translator, besides.
In addition to being my poetry co-editor and a fantastic wordsmith Ben Wiessner is a secret film guru / team member over at the award winning ORNANA films. He recently profiled their process and current projects in this article for Exit Strata — ps(a): the Ornana kickstarter campaign is underway. SUPPORT THE ARTS!
As far as I’m concerned, well. I’m pretty sure I’m turning into an octopus. Please put me in water if found panting on the sidewalk.
Me, Lynne DeSilva-Johnson – well, I captain this webvessel, proudly(!) teach writing at CCNY, blog and self-publish at The Trouble With Bartleby, and am heading up the fight for the open source, participatory, iterative empowerment of our community via the Heroes and Hobos publishing collective. I am the author of two chapbooks, Blood Atlas and Ground.

Ecstatic Poetry Editors, Ben Wiessner and Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, on the eve of PRINT! A Celebration. FEEL THAT LOVE! [5.11.12]

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