Wed Feb 2 11, Viracocha

(Evan Karp)

This week we’d like to tip our hat to Jen G for her performance at Vetted Word.

What I like so much about Jen’s writing is her strong, badass attitude that acknowledges sadness without giving a damn. It’s like she sees sadness over there with its hand up but she’s getting really impatient with it. Outraged but strong and determined to continue. You’ve seen her sexy and funny. You’ve seen her smart and powerful. You’ve seen her do just about everything. But I think these recent poems contain a subliminal music to them that doesn’t depend on lyricism—a good sign, for it seems to me that while it’s one thing to hard-hit readers (and/or audience) with strong language and imagery, and perhaps another with delivery, it’s a step forward to do so with a lowered voice and heightened containment. This might seem contradictory, for in a way the author takes a step forward in his or her work by taking a step back from it. Does that make sense?

Here are some favorite lines:

There is a language invented by the undertow to mock waterslides.

There are men in white trucks who will want to bleach your frontal lobe until it ressembles a 6th run paperback in a grocery store window. The only thing that can convince them to drive away in peace is a teenage symphony to god that pushes its fingers through the iron bars of their hospitals and touches them so deeply they finally notice your breath through their Prozac-colored glasses.

Scream and inherit the desert. The biggest bed i could afford is waiting for us at the end of the highway.

Desperate to beam something honest through a fog of aquanet and leopard-print spandex.

When i tell you i love you, it means i forgot how to tell time.

Two years of missing persons climb out of the sand and trot after the car, fogging up our back windows with handfuls of rice. I watch them stumble.

This is how you cement the abyss. One drink at a time. If you smoke enough pot, you can find out where the devil keeps his record collection.

Drink hard for the memory of Tuesday. Pour one out for Wednesday. On Thursday, walk the line. One minute at a time. Count 12 steps between you and the liquor cabinet.

Need is just want with a God complex.

I keep making up excuses not to walk the distance between us.

This is how i love you. Like the twang of an E string loves an awkward silence. Like a drug loves its addict back.

This coming week » Bawdy Storytelling celebrates its 4th anniversary with Carol Queen and Chicken John, the revival of Poetry Mission ft Kim Johnson, Why There Are WordsBang Out, Viracocha celebrates a year, and Anger Management—just to name a few! Check out the calendar for a crazy list of February, week 2 (and be sure to send your events in to Nic Alea, new calendar editor extraordinaire).