January 5-11, 2015: Lowell Jaeger and Bryan Damien Nichols

Lowell Jaeger and Bryan Damien Nichols

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Lowell Jaeger

Bio (auto)

As founding editor of Many Voices Press, Lowell Jaeger (Bigfork, Montana) compiled Poems Across the Big Sky, an anthology of Montana poets, and New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from 11 Western states. His third collection of poems, Suddenly Out of a Long Sleep (Arctos Press) was published in 2009 and was a finalist for the Paterson Award. His fourth collection, WE, (Main Street Rag Press) was published in 2010. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council and winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Most recently Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Lowell Jaeger and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

High School

Like minnows through reeds, two bored girls
slip out the open doorway, splitting the slant
rays of sun, scattering to either side
little whirlpools of dust and floating air.
They poke at me with my rules sharpened
backwards, skipping class now, craving like a drug
the raw taste of rebellion, laughing as the john door
closes behind them, uncorking their giggles and chidings. 
While I sit big at my desk, a bespectacled walrus,
reading the masters, pages of lessons I’ve still to learn. 
Wishing my pen could chase
a poem of my own across the page.
The two return boldly.  The classroom sniffs
and shuffles, then settles down.
Did he say anything, one whispers to another.  No,
says the other.  But he’s writing something.  In his books.


Bryan Damien Nichols

Bio (auto)

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced law in both Houston and in the Rio Grande Valley. Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle. In his poetry, Bryan writes through two different heteronyms: (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury. Generally speaking, Kjell provides an optimistic worldview, while Alexander provides a pessimistic worldview. Kjell and Alexander are not mere “extensions” of Mr. Nichols; instead, each heteronym is a unique character with his own personality, poetic style, and biography

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Bryan Damien Nichols and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Advice for a Teenager
(by Kjell Nykvist)

You can drink wine from a sandstone rhyton;
You can search for penguins in the Yukon;
You can filet the fish you never caught;
You can freeze-dry a kangaroo in Cameroon;
Or try to score some smack in Bucharest;
Or braid your hair with garter snakes;
You can bungee jump from Salisbury Cathedral;
You can believe white and indigo are the same;
You can brush your teeth with hot gumbo;
You can unplug a gigantic volcanic plug;
Or write an essay on Brahms’ mediocrity;
Or sublease your beloved girlfriend;
You can taste tea with votaries of the humdrum;
You can feed the fleas on a Pekingese;
You can place a scarab on a cenobite;
You can play the flute in an underwater cave;
Or place plutonium in a pyx;
Or pay for pleasure on the Reeperbahn;
You can throw fresh peaches to the pigs;
You can trade your gold for a plastic horseshoe;
You can put nightshade in your minestrone;
You can deny the existence of crocodiles;
Or build a fortress with styrofoam cups;
Or stand on a bridge and throw bricks at cars;

…………But I wouldn’t.



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