Category Archives: Readings

LONNOL Events

WIZ Valentine9

WIZ’s heart and LONNOL Month is officially open.

We’ve received a few tokens of affection but are longing for more. Please search your files for poems, short fiction, short essays, mp3s of readings of your work or of other work that’s in public domain, your original artwork, etc. and send them winging our way.

Along with submissions from our readers, we’ll have a winter wonderland/fond feelings haiku chain, to be initiated soon.

Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday. We’ll be four years old. To celebrate, we’ll be offering one or more of WIZ’s old movie giveaways. Giving our readers presents on our birthday is something we really enjoy doing. To “win” an old movie, all you’ll have to do is read each movie’s review and comment in the comment section. WIZ will contact you with further instructions about how to receive your free DVD.

It has been a hard, difficult, overlong (some would say interminable) winter. Let’s use February to warm things up.

Guest Post: Th. reads from Dorian by Nephi Anderson

Th. writes of this recording, “This is a selection from chapter three of Nephi Anderson’s Dorian (1921), perhaps my favorite Mormon novel. This chapter will be featured in an upcoming series of posts I’m doing on Anderson for Motley Vision. Dorian may be read online. The birds are from Soundsnap.”

For Th.’s–Eric Jepson’s–bio, go here. Continue reading Guest Post: Th. reads from Dorian by Nephi Anderson

Guest Post: Letulogy, by Mark Bennion

Listen to Mark read “Letulogy.”

Uncle Howard,

At sixty, your traces stalk the hollows
of grocery stores from here to Snowflake,
Arizona. A thatch of curly gray hair
shuttles past the cash register, your cow-
milking hands pull a list out of an empty wallet.
You are forever in the next aisle over,
shaking a watermelon, picking at your
mustache, laughing with the manager
over an inside joke concerning paper or plastic,
laughing through the vegetables of loneliness
and the continual grind of bare freezers
and birthdays without anything, not even a cake.
Today it’s a flannel shirt
I see slipping through sliding glass
doors. Something lost in the hunter’s
worn down red, a familiar set of stripes
running through the plaid. Tomorrow
in San Diego your fingerprints will appear
on a drinking fountain, and in two weeks
a phone call will course from Oahu,
full of guttural questions and sun.

Yet it’s always yesterday
I imagine you near the backwoods
of Oklahoma, opening large stable doors,
then brushing the mane of a palomino
as a bird warbles through the muffled dawn.
You submerge in growing
light, occasionally smiling at nothing
near the end of the street.
You pat the horse and speak
secrets into a flickering ear.

From here I have only this letter
I’m not sure where to send
or a eulogy I am too afraid to speak.
Perhaps, tonight I’ll return
to an obscure shelf in the grocery store,
buy couscous or ask a stranger
to explain the difference between
writing to the disappeared
and speaking to the dead.
That’s when I’ll envision you
again, carrying a saddle
into another dawn’s hazy light, 
that’s where the picture fades,
where the horse lowers its head,
eats what’s left out of your hand.

                   Love,
                                   Mark

____________________________________________________________

 For nearly a decade, Mark D. Bennion has taught writing and literature courses at BYU-Idaho. When not teaching, he can be found watching tennis, playing racquetball, or eating kimchi. He recently published the poetry collection Psalm & Selah: a poetic journey through the Book of Mormon (Parables Publishing). Within three weeks, he and his wife, Kristine, will welcome their fourth child into the world.

“Letulogy” was originally published in The Comstock Review ,Vol. 21, No. 1,  Spring/Summer 2007.

The Pear Tree by P. G. Karamesines

Listen to Patricia reading “The Pear Tree.”

When early autumn’s storm wrung from the clouds
Summer, wearing the last thundering rain thin
And sharp on the wind’s rasp; when thorns
Of the first frost bloomed over the grass,
And the morning glory hung brown and bitten
On the garden fence; on those first nights
Of cold window glass and the drip of chill
Onto the plank, when I wrapped in the blanket
And the dog curled at my feet, I heard,
Above the clay clink of wind-churned chimes,
Above the wag of the unlatched screen door,
Round blows of fruit fall against the ground.

I have been here three years’ windfall
Not hearing the bump of pears, but when the tree
Burst blossoms against the window, I watched
Crawl across the floor shadow from thousands
Of swaying cups lifted into the storm of pollens,
And when after petals leaves screwed from the nodes,
I looked out into green overcast: fruit had pushed
Off flower and bent down boughs as with old age,
But more mystic that blunt drop of fruit earthward
That jerked my ear like a new word.

Someone else should hear it: I could better tell
How, when the wind rattled its sticks upon the houses,
I heard a pear fall to a bruising; how it struck
Above the rip of water from passing cars’ tires;
How, as I let slip with sleep my garment of senses,
A tree caught the last thread and plucked it
With a ripe pear; and how I lay awake beneath rainy
Leaves or sat for spells by the window, as one haunts
Heaven those nights her globes bear down the branch
For a single star to fall away in flame.

____________________________________________________________

“The Pear Tree” was the winner of the 1987 BYU Eisteddfod Crown Competition for a lyric poem.  It was published in Irreantum 4.2 (2006): 99.

Vox Humana Week on WIZ

As deeply as I feel the charge from hearing a coyote call close by or catching the wood-and-water chuckle of wild turkeys, as fully as wind flittering through cottonwood leaves inspires me to listen and to breathe, I appreciate the sing-sound of the well-turned human tongue.

Sometimes, in lonely canyons, when there’s no one else there, I’ve heard noises my ear interprets as half-words and singing threading around stone bends like odors rising off home cooking.  While intriguing and beautiful, these voices confuse the human ear, which is always hoping for sounds or phrases of address, the touch of deep-reaching words.

As I’ve said elsewhere, people need to feel that touch of fine language but out of need often settle for less, trying, sometimes desperately, to make more of poor speech than is actually there. We strive, like Rapunzel, to spin gold from straw.  Even when by illusion we half-succeed, we often pay for it by loss of relation. Human language is beautiful when it rises out of wellsprings of feeling for others, when people speak in such a way as to make it possible for others to hear. My experience is that animals can also come to rely on the human voice, similarly hoping to feel its strong effects.

Much of our language is a wasteland of discordant sound and unreaching yet grasping words.  For the rest of the month on WIZ, I hope to post links to poets and others reading or singing their work, good stuff that sits nicely in the ear.  If I’m lucky, we’ll get up some podcasts, including of me reading. Anybody visiting WIZ who thinks he or she might have something suitable for broadcast, please email me at pk.wizadmin@gmail.com.

To start, you can go here (link) to hear Leslie Norris read his poem “Water.”  When you reach the link, click on “Listen to Leslie Norris reading ‘Water'”.

[Edited 12/21/13 to weed out odd formatting symbols introduced by a WIZ update done a few years ago.]