Geoffrey Nutter and Crawdad Nelson

Geoffrey Nutter and Crawdad Nelson

Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 PM

1719 25th Street

Host: Tim Kahl


Geoffrey Nutter grew up in Sacramento and lives in New York City. His latest book, Cities at Dawn, will be out from Wave Books in the fall. His other books are A Summer Evening, Christopher Sunset, Water’s Leaves & Other Poems, and The Rose of January. He teaches Greek and Latin Classics at Queens College and poetry at New York University.

Six Records of a Floating Life

Every man is best known to himself. Every man hath
his proper gift. Every man in his way. Every man must bear
his own burden. Every man may not wear a furred hood.

And every man mend one, and all shall be mended. Every man.
Every man’s censure first is molded in his nature. Every
man must row with such oars as he has. Every man has a fool

in his sleeve; is the architect of day. Every man spinneth
webs beside which weeds grow apace. Every man on a bridge
made of rag and glass; is born, and some in a comet

year, some in a year of wonders, some steeped in marl for widows,
some beneath a mushroom, some beneath the vulcan furnace,
some in a garden pink-tinged with bees and amaryllis near an ornamental

fountain, some near the sea. This is where he can be everything at once,
where the rose-of-sharon is narcissus, narcissus rose-of-sharon
“the nearer they dwell to the waterside”, which is why you opened the window,

and now lie here abed, unsleeping, a slim frond waving in a gentle wind.


Crawdad Nelson learned poetry from hard-drinking immigrant loggers embedded in rural northwest California, then learned how not to write from the college-educated radicals working the same land for government grants. Since then he has edited a small magazine, appeared at dozens of readings, continued his education both at home and at school, published several chapbooks, appeared on a handful of radio stations, and strayed from any known path to respectability. His work appears regularly in the small press.

Speaking Truth to Power

At dawn the birds

open up, each particular

note splendid on the glass air,

pipes open,

agendas revealed,

territory claimed.

With first light every bird

in creation

leans in close

and contributes

what he has.

At sunrise the claim is made


toes around one’s branch,

fully dressed,

fluffed up,

pissed off,

talking back.

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