All ears


I like to think of JARED STANLEY’s Ears as a friendly rejoinder to Frank O’Hara’s “Personism,” a brilliant collegial corrective that places the poem not between two persons but just simply between, as open to the gritty wind off the Nevada desert as to the spy novels and hot wings of the anthropocene. Indeed, for Stanley, the poem is a form of listening to environs: an “open trick, composed of ears” whose signature magic is an enchantment that has an ethics, an enchantment that enacts “the mandate of inanimate friendship.” This book is an ecological manifesto, an unembarrassed declaration of dependence and love for the world, a kind of manual for turning toward animate and inanimate others with fierce and friendly attention. “I’m pretty sure I’m a sorcerer,” Stanley claims, and the necessary good work done by his poems’ wayward charms convinces me he’s right. Ears is magic we desperately need. — Brian Teare




BEN MEYERSON’s Holcocene makes something beautiful and penetrating out of the genre of the post-human apocalypse, the wasteland domain of intelligent machines. The Greek of his title signifies a new era peopled by robots seeking the sea, as they seem compelled to do by programmed hints installed in them by their now-vanished human creators. As Meyerson’s lost machines muse, grieve, wonder, and seek to grasp their vanished maker, an elegy emerges that is perhaps a prophecy: “once we have learned the lambent scar / of what is human, I / will bear it up, then // take you and comfort you.” As in Karel Capek’s R.U.R., at the end of the human experiment of self-travesty and destruction, the I and the Thou and love have re-emerged, or persisted. These machines mysteriously become our voices, in which we survive beyond our errors. In them, despite our delusion that we are mechanisms, we live as song: the lovely, thoughtful, sorrowing, bewildered, courageous song that Meyerson creates in Holcocene.  — A. F. Moritz





knife | fork | book
at The Dark Side Studio | 244 Augusta Avenue | 2nd Floor | Kensington Market | Toronto

Doors 6:30 Poetry 7
Access: We are a second floor walk-up with two all-gender washrooms. Please remove your shoes upon entrance.
JARED STANLEY‘s most recent book is EARS (Nightboat, 2017). Forthcoming projects include Ignore the Cries of Empty Stones and Your Flesh Will Break Out in Scavengers, an essay and artwork, Terma, a collaboration with the artist Sameer Farooq, and Bewildernessless, an artist’s book. He lives in Reno, Nevada.
BEN MEYERSON‘s latest chapbook is Holcocene (Kelsay Books, 2018) and In a Past Life (Alfred Gustav Press, 2016). His work has appeared in such journals as Epignosis Quarterly (via Black Herald Press), Rust+Moth, Axolotl, and The Inflectionist Review, among others. He is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Minnesota.


Instead of politically correct, maybe it’s just plain correct to love someone and want them to have a place in this world where they are not persecuted and murdered. If you are someone who uses the term “politically correct” to dismiss the needs and concerns of others, try taking a moment before you say the words and ask yourself why you need to say them at all. What does it cost you to consider keeping your mouth shut? Better yet, what would it cost you to open your mouth and ask people what they may need and what you can do to help?