Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Math & Physics with JoAnne Growney & Stephanie Strickland

Sometimes we, as a literary community, do not know the treasures that surround us.

Take for example the February 3, 2014, Café Muse readings by poet mathematician JoAnne Growney and poet interactive hypermedia "physicist"  Stephanie Strickland. They both brought to the lit table a wider reach of our world.

And not only did they offer up a different complexity shaped by the writer’s primary tool—words, but also they framed an energy that brought out some exciting participants to the Café Muse open mic, like Mary-Sherman Willis who recently presented in our forum from her new cross-genre book Graffiti Calculus.

Here is a poem from JoAnne Growney that is done in a syllabic square. About this form JoAnne says, “One of the poem-forms I use frequently is the square, a form going back at least to 1597, the date for a square poem by Henry Lok, honoring Elizabeth 1.  The square form (a single-stanza in which the number of lines is the same as the number of syllables per line) seems to help to shape a pithy statement.”

This square by JoAnne has six syllables per line and is  six-line poem:

More than the rapist, fear
the district attorney,
smiling for the camera,
saying that thirty-six
sex crimes per year is a
manageable number.

Copyright © 2013 by JoAnne Growney


Reading from her latest book Dragon Logic, Stephanie Strickland, serves as prophetic voice against the void created by the virtual reality of the Internet that detaches its users from each other. She shows how the past is not so different from the future and that we have always lived with human consuming dragons.

Burning Briar Scanning Tunnel

there is a zombie at the wheel
who finds acceptable all risk

( his flesh looks like mine )
a crinkle monkey in the swamp
mind tricky and brisk

( his moves feel like mine )
headless mannequin draped
white print snakeskin dress

 ( pale fakery filling me with dread )
a boneless man used up
by apparatchik juggernaut

( scrivener like me )
the one who hoped to poach
cockroach strategy adrift

( like me time-amnesic overreaching )
cord-cut all beyond the call
to heal or heel fold molt

( wormhole crush crash course )

Copyright © 2013 by Stephanie Strickland

Join us at Café Muse on March 3 for readings by poets Margaret Mackinnon and Dennis Kirschbaum.

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