Geoffrey G. O’ Brien, Alli Warren and Brandon Brown ||| Mon, Nov 28 @ 7:30 pm ||| SPC 1719 25th St


Geoffrey G. O’Brien is the author most recently of People on Sunday (Wave Books, 2013); Metropole (2011), Green and Gray (2007), and The Guns and Flags Project (2002), were all published by The University of California Press. He is the coauthor (with John Ashbery and Timothy Donnelly) of Three Poets (Minus A Press, 2012) and (in collaboration with the poet Jeff Clark) of 2A(Quemadura, 2006). O’Brien is an Associate Professor in the English Department at UC Berkeley and also teaches for the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison.


It was just a time of matter, that zone

Between running and stopping

Bred of gas and twilight

Where all speech is eloquent

As the outlines of cars and stores.

Always just twilight, hence speech

Always eloquent, caught between

Massing and dispersal. The oppressed

Possess the eloquence of eloquence

While you others have its awkwardness.

I hear fall will come, but not for any of us.

I hear it will be here, but not as we

Would have it, a burning tire,

Driverless rains that seem commanded

Because of such economy as is.

All scenes are hunting scenes.

There’s no good way to be, we must

Not say so. Nothing to do

But kick yourself down the service road,

A forgotten lane, flat on the ground

Or against a brick wall, slammed there

Temporarily, rights draining

Like a crowd gone quiet, so it is said.

Poetry would have you believe that

Words are acronyms while the state

That acronyms are words. You can’t

Yet be rescued from this earth.

So the suburbs politely burn

And the ringroad, the QTs.

It will happen again means

The bad is still happening and the good

At least one street over

Wherever that loud bass is,

A verdict known before it comes.

I hear of it from as far as my lap.

(First published on LitHub:


Alli Warren’s most recent publications include Don’t Go Home With Your Heart On (Faux Press, 2014) and Here Come the Warm Jets (City Lights Books, 2013) winner of the Poetry Center Book Award. In 2017, Nightboat Books will publish I Love It Though. Alli’s writing has been published in many venues, including PoetryJacketThe Brooklyn Rail, and Feminist Formations. She previously published Dreamboat magazine, co-curated The (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand, and co-edited the Poetic Labor Project. She has lived in the Bay Area since 2005.

After the end of the world
I go to wash your clothes in the Arno
Extension in the bright world
nothing, nothing, nothing
and stars
What but faith
can breach the void?
Friendship, empathetic
yawning, watching two crows
as a group of boys
venture out into the stop & frisk
If I give skin a syntax
or touch the swallow as it lifts
that a finger might slip
If lush indicants
attuned, throbbing, burst
Where is the net which saves
rather than traps
why is there something not
Let love runs the radios
baby baby please don’t go

Brandon Brown’s most recent books are The Good Life (Big Lucks) and Top 40 (Roof).  His work has appeared recently in Fanzine, Art in America, The Best American Experimental Writing, The Felt, and Open Space.  He is a co-editor of Krupskaya and occasionally publishes small press materials under the imprint OMG! 


when an artist dies
everything becomes so
likeless.  Lake light
a big drag, the rain
annoying although we
we were parched.  Three
farmers shake their heads
wimple down on hay
stalks sad, even their
cabbages have teary
layers.  It’s the year
of the horse not the
worm but so far
this year has swallowed
artists like an orca gulps
down ten chum in one
gob.  Somebody won the
Super Bowl, they jump up
and down, go home, sleep
to wake, my veins
hurt, lithe but a little
lifeless, blue as Kool Aid
what’s easy to forget
is that athletic competitions
like poetry were invented
to war against death
against  the death of
how anybody’s name
means anything, it’s best
to do this with a helmet on
poetry I mean
was invented as a log
of leased ass, everyone
in the world knows
the name Shamu
the Seahawks know it
the Broncos know it
Phillip Seymour Hoffman knew it
and it is for this reason
orca cum is thick
and salty heroin of cums.

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