An Actual Kansas No. 2 warmed the chilly end of November and over fifty people spilled over the chairs and onto the floors of Lawrence's 6 Gallery to listen to the work of Cyrus Console and Scott Pierce.
We had boxed wine and cold food and canned beer but people came for poetry. There is a palpable attentiveness around here, and as was commented later people are well-dressed and mild-mannered, they do not drink all the wine and they leave some crackers and cheese on the plate. The dress shop upstairs, named something about eccentrics, played canned and terrifying Christmas music all night and it leaked through the floors.
Ken Irby gave a lovely introduction for Cyrus, and though I had written a very honest introduction for Scott, about how he was the first poet in Texas to write of the moon, and how he was born in the year of the Chupacabra, and how he was the love child of H.D. and H.D., and also how he finally escaped his youth-life of petty crime to find a life of more major crime of art, standing at the podium my notes were suddenly abstract marks (unreadable!) and I spoke instead of dove's defeathered breasts (said to resemble hearts) and Austin and love.
Cyrus and Scott were gentle and intense, the work of each fortuitously corresponded with the other's: there is Cyrus who is gentle and intense of the head, and there is Scott who is gentle and intense of the body. Both have written poems about Emus. Scott read his quick poems, and what is one of my favorites -- the poem from Moss Ranch. Scott said the word "Jackshit" (as in, "I don't know Jackshit about emus") and later told me the first word he ever wrote was "Hogrot." Cyrus read from his new book from Burning Deck, Brief Under Water, which I hope you will buy, and he read some new work for those who love epics.
Dennis Etzel wrote something about our Thursday night in Kansas: here. I've taken some pictures & made a flickr set: here.
Please join us for our holiday reading -- legends Kenneth Irby and K. Silem Mohammad will read on Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m., also at 6 Gallery.