Thursday, May 26th – 7-9 pm
Book Release Celebration
A World Less Away, a collection of poems by José Luis Gutiérrez

A World Less AwayPoet Tracey Knapp will join José Luis Gutiérrez in a reading to celebrate the release of Jose’s new collection, A World Less Away.  Tracey’s book, “Mouth,” was published in 2015. Guitarist David McFarland contributes his music to the occasion.

José Luis Gutiérrez was born in Miami and grew up in Panama. He is a San Francisco-based poet, interpreter and translator. His work has appeared in Eratio, Scythe, Margie, DMQ and the anthologies Mutanabbi Street Starts Here and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, among others. His first full-length poetry collection A World Less Away has recently been published by Pariah Dog Press. Poet Dean Radar says of the book, “A World Less Away is a masterful mapping, an aesthetic atlas of ideas, war, creation, economic decline, tenderness, and the journeys we make among them… Meditative and inquisitive, these poems migrate between the personal and the political in modes both smart and accessible.”

Tracey Knapp’s first full-length collection of poems, Mouth, won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award and was published in 2015. Tracey has received scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fund. Her work has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2008 and 2010, The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems (Red Hen Press), and has appeared in Poetry Daily, Five Points, The National Poetry Review, Red Wheelbarrow Review, The New Ohio Review, The Minnesota Review and elsewhere.  “Quotidian, weird, intimate, witty, and skittery, Knapp’s poems are refractions through a funhouse mirror. …Read it and weep over your nachos and wine; it will leave you wanting more,” says Kim Addonizio.

David McFarland performs his own compositions and jazz standards. His jazz trio, HITS N’JUNK, performs around the Bay area. David has studied with Jonathan Kreisberg, Mimi Fox, Bruno Bacquert-Pelletier, and Tuck Andress.

 

Dream Migration

This pigeon with a broken wing

justifies my fear of flying.

Windows are traps of clarity

made to ensnare the sky.

How many windows depends

on how many skies my mind

can hold without shattering

into a million mosaic pieces.

A matryoshka doll of days

nesting different skies.

Or memory palace of clouds

in nomadic configurations

spelling both hello and good-bye

like faces staring from the back

of their own heads in certain paintings.

Because of the myth of breath

trees are necessary and birds uneasy

at their perch remind me

how we’re all animals caught

in the same blue distances

of our dreaming in case

fog with a chance of mountains

a sea or moon epiphany and tides

give way to the gift of rising.

Sooth-say your ways, said

the blue-gray gnatcatcher,

arriving on yesterday’s wind

to alight on the crab apple tree

outside my window.

One of its feathers can pack

a zillion top quarks, the densest

particle in the universe,

and not miss a wingbeat

in the coming migration.

There’s this memory of my father

showing me how to fly a kite

before loss found a foothold.

A park blazed with the last

of summer’s hydrogen.

The bright red jellyfish kite he held

firmly anchored in air’s feral trough

and dazzling us with its streamers.

The day promised to stay forever.

His gestures demonstrated what in speech

he withheld: that the trick lies in holding the string

while slowly letting go.

— José Luis Gutiérrez