A feature/open poetry reading in Cincinnati--an intentional arc of both past and future utterance, inspired by our most revered (and missed) voice with a nod to her Athens, GA compatriots, the last Tuesday of every month 7 p.m. at MOTR, in Over the Rhine
NATHAN SINGER is a novelist, playwright, composer, and experimental performing artist. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Theater from Northern Kentucky University, a Master’s in Creative Writing from Antioch University, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities with a creative writing focus from Union Institute & University. He currently teaches writing at Antioch University, the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University and Cincinnati State College. He has been published in various literary journals, and performs on a semi-regular basis both as a solo artist and with various ensembles, particularly with avant-garde performance collective Performance Gallery. He is also the lead vocalist and guitarist for award-winning “ultra-blues” band The Whiskey Shambles. His published novels are the controversial and critically-acclaimed A Prayer for Dawn, Chasing the Wolf, In the Light of You, The Song in the Squall, Transorbital and Blackchurch Furnace. He currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he is working on a multitude of new projects.
Word of Mouth Cincinnati, which began in January 2014, is co-hosted by fellow writers Jim Palmarini and Mark Flanigan. It was founded in memory of the late Aralee Strange who, after many years living, writing and producing work in the Cincinnati area, moved to Athens, Georgia where she co-founded Athens Word of Mouth.
WoMC is an intentional arc of both past and future utterance, inspired by our most revered voice, with a nod to her Athens, GA compatriots. Word of Mouth asks poets to Show Up, Mouth Off and Pay Attention.
Admission to Word of Mouth Cincinnati is free and open to all ages, although some content may contain adult themes and language. MOTR Pub 1345 Main Street Cincinnati, OH 45202.
A Communion of Rum Punch
It was early mid-day when Huxley, Woolf, Marlowe, and Ophelia made flesh made new time making love of the old books. On this mid-day we wrote and re-wrote and hung thick lust in the shadows.
It was a Sunday afternoon, but we stayed indoors.
The four of us leaving Seurat in the park alone.
Still fragmented as we were, the closer you’d stand,
the more your vision would blur.
“He loves me,” Ms. Woolf said of Mr. Marlowe.
“And I love you and you love her and she loves us.
We are perfect. We are exalted. We are the new world.
We are the new love.”
We orgied in absurdity/ wallowed in our youth
and grand self-delusion/ we scoffed at the past
and left the future behind/ we flipped Gregor on
his back/ helped the Arab kill Camus/ and left
Godot awaiting our arrival.
I HAVE a new love, Virginia, I said. And she is no
Ophelia. She’s not like us. She’s separate. She’s real.
We are perched too high to don the old masks/
to wear the old chains/ to dance the old steps
to play the old notes/ and exalt the old times
I’m rolling out a fat dime/ and we’re kicking
the new crimes.
“You talk a good game, Aldous, of your new love,” Virginia said.
“But you’re in my bed, and my money’s in your pocket,
and your pocket is way over there.”
Our linguistics are intrinsic. It’s instinctual/
No lumbering cumbersome ho-hum conundrum/
imagination is moist and we lubricate lyrically/
sliding stanzas out and in again/ addicted to the
“We’ll take turns as your lover. Aldous. Little Ophelia and I. And I’ll
love her like a mother. I’ll feed her and she’ll feed off me.
Desire is a gift and we are mostgifted. Go ahead and
love me–savor new experience.”
If I loved you, Virginia, I’d never be free of the scars
on your veins. You’ve never been refused and
I’ve never had position to refuse. Let us savor the new experience.
On this mid-day, we orgied in absurdity and hung lust thick in the shadows. We mocked all convention and melted as one. Made love of the old books. Made communion of rum punch. Swore devotion forever and then scattered like dreams on the wind.
“In OUR world, she’s Ophelia twirling on the new dawn. Loverproof. Bulletproof. 80 proof.”
In THEIR world, she’s jailbait in the Malibu Dreamhouse.
“In OUR world, he’s dashing as Marlowe. Down with Faust. Cutting a new deal.”
In THEIR world he’s another latchkey virgin feeding from the cathode ray.
“In OUR world, I’m Virginia Woolf making Dickinson in a rowboat. Emily’s taste lingers on my lips.”
In THEIR world, you’re a junkie whore ex-prom queen pseudo-dyke with more regret than wisdom.
“In OUR world, you’re Huxley free from the dying bed. Dosed and all. Smiling like the sunshine. Ready to dance again in the doorways.”
In THEIR world, I’m amped-up gutter trash fresh from the motorcross. Waking on the sidewalk. Having breakfast in the alley.
“Well, that’s done,” said Ms. Woolf of Mr. Marlowe, “He’s not a virgin anymore.”
“I love her, Huxley,” Marlowe whisper’d to me. “And she loves you and you love
Ophelia and Ophelia loves us all. WE are perfect. We are
exalted. We are the new world. We are the new love.”
Ophelia whimpered and whined that
she’s helpless at our mercy/ we are
creators/ she is created/ our whim is her
command/ But she then wrote and re-wrote/
taking power and pen/ and now the Queen
and the Prince float face down in the river
I HAVE a new love, Chris, I whisper’d in kind. And she’s not like us. She’s real.
I don’t love you, and I don’t love Virginia, and I don’t love Ophelia, and I don’t love me.
But I love US. We are a blink, a flash, a moment of passion,
pompous in bless’d ignorance. I swear my devotion and
you three swear your devotion and then we’ll
s c a t t e r
like dreams on the wind.