Sunday, June 3, 2012

Four Poets, a Songster, Wm. Stage & a Sculpture

Poetry Scores will continue with its 2012 Readings at The Royale series 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 with "Four Poets, a Songster, Wm. Stage & a Sculpture".

The reading will be held in the courtyard of The Royale, 3132 South Kingshighway. The event is free; The Royale is a full-service bar and restaurant.

Performers for the night will be poets Chris King, Nicky Rainey, Stefene Russell and Brett Underwood. The songster will be Robert Goetz, performing his poetry scores of Hawaiian poet Wayne Westlake and a Modoc Indian text. Wm. Stage will read a story from his new collection Not Waving Drowning. All readers will perform at — and, at some point, through — Noah Kirby's sculpture With Solid Stance and Stable Sound.

The inaugural Readings at The Royale event (which also featured Poetry Scores regulars King, Russell and Underwood) was reviewed with delight by Walrus Publishing. "The event," writes Jaime Kelley for Walrus, "had the distinctive flair of mixing artistic media right before our eyes."

Since Poetry Scores translates poetry into other media, Kelley got exactly what we were putting out. Kelley also gave vivid snapshots of the readers we will see again at The Royale on June 13.

Kelley described as Chris King as a "royal court jester" and said "I enjoyed his edgy humor, his biting words, and his off-color topics. He cut through the haze."

Of Stefene Russell:  "Like eating key lime pie, her poems surprised and captivated in a tangy, zesty way. Stimulating and provocative, her images endure."

Of Brett Underwood: "He jumped behind the sculpture and gave us a taste of resounding stable sound. Like drinking a shot of tequila at the end of the night – when you don’t want to go home, not quite – Underwood’s poems went down fast and I felt them."

As for Nicky Rainey, who is new to the Readings at The Royale series, she makes zines, writes grants, stories and letters to her pen-pals. She represented St. Louis in the National Poetry Slam 2009. (Read her prose poem "Where Leo is now.")

The songster Robert Goetz is better known as a visual artist, though he has contributed musicianship to two poetry scores and two songs to the poetry score to The Sydney Highrise Variations. Here is a snapshot of him as songster performing at The New Monastic Workshop:

Every song he sang was a hate song. I remember a line about "prehistoric hate" and another about "small fish, small hearts all around." The astonishing thing was the bounce and joy — swagger, even — of the songs. It was a tricky way to communicate hate. It almost managed to sell hate as something that would be pleasant to hum, what with the buoyant bounce of Robert's guitar chordings and the confident, melodic ease of his vocal, singing about the self-hatred of swimming in a circle.

Stage is a veteran writer who will read one of the eight short stories from his first collection of short fiction, Not Waving Drowing. St. Louis Magazine had this to say about Stage's short stories:

If you’d guess that there are "squishy" things in this collection, you would be correct. This is not a book for the squeamish. The first story begins with a process server urinating in an alley and the last story ends with an utterly guiltless murderer fussing over the sudden need to develop a drawl if he is going to succeed as a fugitive in South Carolina. This is true to form for Stage, who first roughed out his prose style and instinct for stories writing things like the “Mississippi Mud” column for the Ray Hartmann-era Riverfront Times. Stage is gritty and scruffy—without apology, but also without fetishizing his grit. It comes naturally to him as skin.

Noah Kirby's sculpture With Solid Stance and Stable Sound entered the Poetry Scores fold through Dana Turkovic's inspired The Platforms series at Laumeier Sculpture Park. The sculpture recently got off the road with Noah and will be rejoining its temporary home at The Royale for the June event. Poetry Scores is curating the piece in 2012 with hopes of acquiring the sculpture as the permanent fixture of a Poetry Scores reading series.

For information about this event, email

Also, coming 7-9 p.m. Monday, July 16: "Readings at The Royale: Poems and Songs of Bombs and Monsters" scheduled for the anniversary of the Trinity Test.

Photo of Chris King reading through Noah Kirby's sculpture With Solid Stance and Stable Sound at Laumeier Sculpture Park by Sean Collins.


Zed Naught said...

I read NOT WAVING DROWNING yesterday. Great stories Looking forward to this reading

Zed Naught said...

Looking forward to it. Thanks for the write-up, Chris