March 17-23, 2003: David Wright and Dwight O. Carson

week of March 17-23, 2003

David Wright and Dwight O Carson

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David Wright

Bio (auto)

David Wright’s poems, essays and reviews have appeared widely on line and in print at such places at The Christian Century, Karamu, The Nimble Spirit Review, 2River View and The Avatar Review, among others He is the author of two poetry collections: A Liturgy for Stones (2003) and Lines from the Provinces (2000) This fall several of his poems will be included in A Capella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry, to be published by University of Iowa Press For more about his writing visit

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by David Wright and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Naked Cellist

Behind his beloved, polished wooden love,
propped between his knees, the cellist
believes he can hide in the orchestra
Everyone will stare at the concert
mistress with the amazing technique
and stunning cleavage The way her eyes

close during Bach’s concerto in a minor,
the way she stands still but drives
herself, her entire section, from a pulse

between her spine and belly, will draw
the audience’s 400 eyes to the center
of her sound, tighten their attention down

like the hairs on a bow He forgets how small
the chamber group is, how every voice
forms its own line to wind around

the tip of that woman’s arcing bow
She draws and holds him there,
thread unspooled before the urging,

silent crowd How thin and pale
he would be, how invisible
to all the naked eyes, if counterpoint

weren’t knotting and unkotting them,
lovers joined and unjoined, her eyes
closed, then opened as the cadence comes
In February, Jones and His Buddies Get Together in Iowa

I’m told if you put four, five of them in a cabin
with a bottle of Rioja, some Bukowski, 
some Joyce, albums by Dylan and Blind Willie, 
and maybe a cigarette or two (no latte,
says Jones, not on his watch),
you’ll end up wiser, looking out the corners
of your eyes, waiting for deer to shoot,
finding art like change, tucked under cushions
Your hands will grow raw from tugging boot straps, 
but only to take them off I have heard
the rocking chair grooves the floor all night, all
endless, unstarry, no break in the bull
shit, night I hear the one woman who stays
collects their shoes while they talk , then drives off
to California, and they follow her, barefoot, 
untethered, singing like they’re on a radio
that plays blues so fearless they can’t call them blues.

Jones Sells a Guitar

He has fingered the fretboard, stretched
the strings into sound, laid his cheek
against the cool belly and felt

her electric breath surge into his blood–
but now, on a Thursday night, because the blues

don’t haunt his right eye, he doesn’t need
a Univox Box to fly high and away from his hands
He can let this one go, sell it for what it can bring,
sell her, perhaps, for a song.

Dwight O Carson

Bio (auto)

Dwight O Carson was born in Harlem during the 1940’s During his years in high school he realized he had a talent for writing, which led to his first public performance at the Caribou Galleries, located in the heart of Brooklyn in 1967 Since that time he has performed at Black Art festivals, cultural centers, libraries, local colleges and state universities such as NYU, Pratt Institute, Stockton State college, Medgar Evers, C.W Post, Long Island University, Rutgers University and Cornell Other experiences include theater performances at La Mama Theater from 1978-1980 under the Ceta Artist Project He also composed a Choreo-poem entitled ‘Expubident,’ which was performed at La Mama Theater Other accomplishment as a lyricist includes writing for Buddha records the song ‘Skin Diver,’ for Norman Conners Saturday Night Special In 1975 Dwight Carson was the co-founder and vice-president of the Men-Wem writers workshop located in Brooklyn.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Dwight Carson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Him Looked Good Behind the Lights

Him looked good behind the lights, all stretched out,
laid back in deep recess; leaped up with a live wire He wore double breasted smiles, dollar signs gleaming on each tooth
The smoked-filled indifference of the room yielded only to the sound
Of shuffling weary feet, negotiating café tables, clanking glasses,
Broken blues lines, drunken conversation revolving on the thinness of a beer Too fly, too high, down the beat backstroke, the drummer broke
Shimmering cymbal sounds of saxophones rushing out Assault
Dancers ghost strode the night in cadences by candlelight They knew
Nothing of his beginning birth or subsequent form, cared nothing for his inevitable demise Without disguise you could surmise the sighs and melody of his
Exuberant expubident nuances But that didn’t keep the club owners from hassling him about the length of his
Solos or being just a few minutes late for his next set He was beyond all that;
He was beyond pain and pride No one could touch him; they could never understand
The screaming solitude of night without a machine gun in their hands Him looked good behind the lights as he closed his venetian blind eyes stained with the
Redness of too many one-nighters in chicken switch, whistle stops that didn’t pay the rent or buy a decent dinner for two Him reached deep into the womb of longing for some4thing to call his, except the bousy murmur of middle aged misfits and young hipsters looking for a free lay; he watched the nightly procession of perfumed headhunters Him could never forget transcendental smiles, processions of willing
Heartbeats stroking the heat, rub, bump, jump the gun, give me some It was always taster’s choice over White Rock crystals and candied cocaine and satin
Eyelashes sing duets to the moon He lay his soul between the silky softness of some
Compassionate listener free for the night; him look real good behind the lights,
Yea him looked real good playing! Him looked good playing! Him look good playing behind the lights Columns of air long breath singing cries; elastic ears sucking sound deep from belly gut motion, dark, dank wooden hulls, moaning funeral dirges on ancient bones Him could never forget as the rhythm rode him from side to side, hugging the cradle of night; him could never forget who started what, did where, when, as the whiskey smoothed out the wrinkles in his mind The listeners always said they loved the way he made them shake it on down between the eight bars and the thirty-second notes If you don’t be natural, you’ll B flat Him always looked good behind the lights, but you know what they will probably forget him soon as him leave the lights.

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